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LONDON & NORTH WESTERI 
RAILWAY 



DAV 



LIBRARY 

OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. 

Received AUG 171892 . i8g 
Accessions No.A^^^^^, Class No. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/fiftyyearsoflondOOstevrich 



FIFTY TEAES 



ON THE 



LONDON & NORTH WESTERN 
RAILWAY, 

AND OTHEE MEMOEANDA 

IN THE 

LIFE OF DAVID STEVENSON. 

EDITED BY LEOPOLD TUENER. 

fUHIVBRSITTj 



LONDON: 

PRINTED m 5PC0RQU0DALE & CO. LIMITED, 
CARDINGTON STREET, EUSTON, N.W. 

1891. 






^^^^^^ 



^^^^ 



OV THB 



toHIVBRSITT; 

EDITOR'S PREFACE. 



'HPHESE writings have been placed in my hands for the 
purpose of submitting- them to the public. I have found 
litde to advise or suggest respecting them ; my principal share 
in their introduction consisting of the addition to the sketch and 
letters of a few of Mr. Stevenson's poetical pieces — pieces which 
may, I think, enhance the interest the friends he already possesses 
are likely to take in the leading portion of his little work, and 
which may not, I trust, escape the approbation of those other 
friends whose companionship — granting it is to be enjoyed— 
inust date from the day of publication. 

L.T. 



B2 



PREFACE 



TN the early days of my active service upon the railway, it was 
my practice to write almost daily, in easy journalistic 
fashion, to my dear friend and connection, the Rev. Robert 
Turnbull, Vicar of Wybunbury, Cheshire. He preserved some 
of the letters, and, at his lamented death, his widow returned them 
to me. A few friends requested me to write an introduction 
to them, giving- some further account of my experience and 
recollection, and to publish them. With many misgivings as to 
the favourable acceptance of such lucubrations from me, even by 
the large body of railway men to " whom my name is familiar, 
I consented to do so, reserving their publication until the period 
of my retirement from the service. The recollections were written 
long before the Jubilee Year, and the teeming personal accounts 
which then became the rage, and have since continued to flood the 
press, destroyed the little hope I ever had that my poor book, 
would ever be of any general interest. It may, however, serve to 
recall my name to those railway friends and others, with whom 
for so many years my life has been passed, "when my place 
shall know me no more," and when for me at least, in all mundane 
considerations, the *' pleasures of hope" shall have given place to 
the " pleasures of memory." 

D.S. 



'tjhivbrsitt; 



^£ipl 



CHAPTER I. 

TN the leafy month of June, 1837, when the heralds were 
proclaiming the Princess Victoria queen of these realms, one 
of the most humble and loyal of her future subjects entered the 
service of the new method of locomotion called the Railway. 
That child of scientific invention had just begun to stretch 
its powerful limbs over the length and breadth of the 
land, and was destined to be one of the greatest influences 
towards the prosperity and progress of the good Queen's long 
and brilliant reign. 

I was introduced to Mr. Ashlin Bagster, who had been 
appointed, at the nomination of Mr. Robert Stephenson, to be 
the first manager of the London and Birmingham line: a tall 
and serious-looking gentleman, who shook his head when, at 
his bidding, I copied a letter as a specimen of my hand-writing. 
I was, however, appointed a cadet in his office at a salary of 
twenty pounds per annum ; the first clerk to the first manager of 
the railway I 

It was an exciting period ; for after a long and animated 
struggle, Mr. George Carr Glyn, the chairman, and his colleagues, 
had obtained the sanction of the legislature; Mr. Robert 
Stephenson had overcome the difficulties of surveying the line, 
at the point of the pitch-fork and other obstructions of the land- 
owners; had conquered the engineering difficulties, and nearly 
completed the work which a pamphleteer of the time endeavoured 
to prove to be a greater work than the erection of the Egyptian 
pyramids. The time had arrived when a portion of the line was 
to be opened to the public. The engines were ready, Mr. Joseph 
Wright's carriages were built, the stations were constructed as far 
as Boxmoor, twenty- three miles, and it was decided to engage the 
staff — clerks, porters, policemen, drivers, firemen, and mechanics 



— and begin. Mr. Richard Creed and Captain Constantino 
Richard Moorsom were the joint secretaries prior to the opening- 
of the railway. Mr. Creed had his office at Cornhill, in London, 
and Captain Moorsom at Birmingham. They were appointed in 
September, 1833. At the same time Robert Stephenson was 
selected as the engineer. This was at the first meeting of the 
Board. Previously the business of the Company had been 
conducted by two committees, one in London, and the other in 
Birmingham. Mr. Creed had been a partner in the banking 
house of Fauntleroy & Co., the head of which firm was executed 
for forgery, the last victim to the inhuman law in such cases. 
Mr. Creed had subsequently been sent by the Government to 
Paris to settle the English claims upon France consequent upon 
the Treaty of Peace. 

The details of the preparation for the opening fell upon 
Mr. Bagster, at a salary of £400 per annum, and his small 
band of assistants at Euston, at salaries from £20 to £150. 
This gentleman provided many of the methods and forms which 
were adopted afterwards by most of the railways, and which 
still remain in use. Of those who took part in the preparations 
only a few rose to distinction in the development of railways. 
Mr. Bagster left the London and Birmingham, and took service 
on a northern line, but died early. Mr. Fox, the resident 
engineer, went into trade, and was knighted during the 
Exhibition of 1851. Mr. Kenneth Morison became the founder 
of the Railway Clearing House, and the remainder, disappearing 
in the course of time, made, as I have said, no mark of 
importance. Joseph Atkinson, the chief of the mechanics, whose 
father had been a near neighbour of the elder Stephenson in his 
humble days, was an ingenious inventor, and the author of the 
carriage truck still in use, and of improvements in waggons and 
other valuable aids to the new system. Ill health afterwards 
shortened his career of usefulness. 



CHAPTER II. 

i^N the twentieth of July, 1837, the road to Boxmoor was 
^^ opened by the Directors and their friends, and the down 
journey was conducted satisfactorily ; but on the return, on 
descending- the incline to Euston, the first of the two trains ran 
into collision with the end of the platform. The brakesman, 
Kirkup by name, turned the brake, which then worked from a 
seat on the top of the carriage, the wrong- way, and lost command 
of the train. Kirkup g-ave an explanation in the broad 
Newcastle dialect, but as he was very much excited, I am unable 
to record it. The manag-er who was also inclined to Newcastle 
speech, said it was "pweposterwous." Plaster for broken heads, 
and a few repairs, soon restored matters, and the running of 
trains for the public commenced. 

The following is a copy of the notice issued to the Public : — 
LONDON AND BIRMINGHAM RAILWAY. 

PARTIAL OPENING OF THE LINE, 1837. 

The public are informed that on and after Thursday, the 20th inst., the 
Railway will be opened for the conveyance of Passengers and Parcels to and from 
London and Boxmoor, including the intermediate stations of Harrow and Watford. 

First class coaches carry six passengers inside, and each seat is numbered. 

Second class coaches carry eight passengers inside, and are covered, but 
without lining, cushions or divisions, and the seats are not numbered. 

Third class coaches carry four passengers on each seat, and are without 
covering. 

The following, until further notice, will be the times for departure of the 
Trains. On every day except Sundays. 



8 

First Time Bill of the London and Birmingham Railway, copied from Original. 

RAILWAY. 

1837. 
HOURS OF DEPARTURE. 



From Ziondon : 

FIRST TRAIN . . . ... 10 o' Clock. 

SECOND do. ..... 2 „ 

THIRD do. ..... 5 „ 

From Boxmoor : 

FIRST TRAIN ^o' Clock. 

SECOND do. , ... 2 ,, 

THIRD do. ..... 7 „ 



ON SUNDAYS. 
From Xiondon : 

FIRST TRAIN d&ClocL 

SECOND do 5 „ 

THIRD do. . . , . 7 „ 

From Boxmoor: 

FIRST TRAIN 9 o' Clock. 

SECOND do, . . . . 5 „ 

THIRD do, . . . . . 7 „ 

Curiosity brought thousands of passengers ; but in the third 
class open carriages the dust from the roofs ot the tunnels and the 
newly made line, and the hot cinders from the engines, gave 
them rough travelling. Paper tickets were used torn from books 



with a reserved duplicate; and as the line opened to longer 
distances the name of each passenger booked was entered in the 
duplicate, after the manner of the old coaching days. On 
October i6th, 1837, the line was further opened to Tring, and on 
April 9th, to Denbigh Hall. The stage coaches and mails were 
conveyed on carriage-trucks to Denbigh Hall, thence by road to 
Rugby, and the rest of the journey by rail to Birmingham. The 
stations were enlivened by the sound of the bugle, but the coach- 
guards were disgusted with their outside ride on the railway. 
The railway guards also had an unpleasant time, for, adhering 
to old usage they too rode outside on the top of the carriage, 
where, amidst other disagreeables, their clothes sometimes caught 
fire. The roadside stations were enclosed with lofty iron railings, 
within which the passengers were imprisoned until the train 
arrived ; they were then permitted to rush out to take their places, 
for which they sometimes had to join in a free fight. Then the 
engine gave a prolonged whistle, which Charles Dickens described 
as saying ''Here are two hundred and fifty people in the veriest 
extremity of danger ; and here are their two hundred and fifty 
screams all in one "I The clatter caused by the stone blocks, 
which were used before the wooden sleepers replaced them, 
added to the unpleasantness of the journey. Thus the success of 
the new mode of conveyance was not then established in ihe 
popular mind ; and coach proprietors and others interested in its 
expected failure, still hoped on, and in many cases lost money 
by their lingering belief in the old system. Not so the leading 
men connected with the London establishment. Benjamin Worthy 
Home, William Chaplin, and others, took early steps to connect 
themselves with the railway companies. 

Home and Chaplin became the London and Birmingham 
Co.'s agents for parcels and omnibuses, and did good service for 
many years in the organisation of branch coaches and in providing 
temporary conveyances in periods of floods and landslips when 
parts of the line became impassable. It was, however, some 
time before the general public fully believed in the permanence of 
the railways. Large sums were spent in improving the high roads 
for the coaches when the railways were approaching completion, 
and some were actually open for traffic. 



10 



CHAPTER III. 

"DY this time, near the site of the place where Trevithick 
had exhibited his first locomotive engine, Philip Hardwick's 
great Doric entrance to Euston reared its solid front, and was 
considered a handsome addition to the architecture of London. 
In removing the scaffolding, but fortunately while the men were 
at dinner, a large portion of the hugh baulks of timber, of which 
the scaffolding was composed, fell to the ground with a loud 
report. 

In September, 1838, the line was opened throughout from 
London to Birmingham, and the duties of the several departments 
had become more defined. At first everybody made himself 
useful in that which came to hand. I collected cash bags from 
the stations, worked in the office, carried a torch at night when 
the trains were late — for we had no gas in the earlier months — 
booked passengers, engaged policemen or porters, and did 
anything else I was told. Sometimes I acted as brakesman to 
the passenger trains from Camden to Euston; and when the 
first Napoleon's celebrated general. Marshal Soult, paid us the 
honour of a visit, I assisted the General Manager and the Superin- 
tendent of Police in lowering the train to Euston, ordinary 
brakesmen being put aside on so important an occasion. 
Railway Managers of this day would be shocked at the free-and- 
easy use of the main line between Camden and Euston at this time. 
Thus, the manager rode to Euston on a waggon which he lowered 
himself; and any superior officer had the power to adopt this 
method of making the journey, quite regardless of what might be 
in the way. On one occasion, on taking down a very high-sided 
waggon, I had to stand outside the vehicle on the buffer, 
intending to work the brake with my foot, but midway I found I 
could not reach it, and I was only saved by the aid of a very long 
porter who happened to be with me. All hands were proficient 
at this braking, for we used to make small wagers as to stopping 
the waggons or carriages to an inch on the turntable at the bottom. 



n 

After serving- a few months in the audit office, and in the 
opening- of the through line to Birmingham, I was drafted from 
the Manager's office to Camden Station, in connection 
1838. with the Stores and Construction Departments. This 
was a change for the worse as regards my personal 
comfort. The office was a rough wooden erection, with an 
earthen floor, and contained, by day, myself in my great coat, 
the stores of all kinds, a table, a small cabin stove, and the 
mice. Chalk Farm was in the country then, and I had to prepare 
my meals at the small stove, and to consume them assisted by the 
mice, who evidently had a great contempt for my presence. 
The place was always muddy. The station had been raised 
from the road by the earth from the Primrose Hill Tunnel, and 
this new clay produced a Slough of Despond, which I have only 
seen equalled at the Royal Agricultural Show, at Kilburn, a few 
years ago. 

Still the building of waggons for the intended goods traffic 
went on, and I kept my books and blew my fingers until better 
times came. During this period I was instructed to obtain a 
sight of the patent for Booth's Patent Grease, some trouble 
having been experienced for want of a suitable lubricant for the 
carriage axles. I did so, and made the first can of the compound 
in my shed, and, as it was found successful, the Company afterwards 
purchased the use of the patent, and have adopted it ever since. 

Chalk Farm Tavern was then at the end of a lane near my 
office. It had been, as is well known, a celebrated duelling place, 
and it still retained some of its faded grandeur, as a place of resort 
for dancing and fetes. The large ball-room was decked with 
chandeliers and convex mirrors. An elevated gallery led to the 
tea-garden, at the entrance to which the figures of two soldiers 
were painted. The Chalk Farm Fair had not yet begun, but 
the navvies, during the making of the tunnel, had lowered the 
character of the place. When over their beer at night, their singing 
could be heard far away. A favourite chorus of theirs was to this 
effect ; 

" And the guns shall be rattling, 

A-rattling and roaring, 
A-rattling and roaring, Oho-0-0-0!" 

The stentorian sound must have surprised the crows at Hampstead. 



]-2 

, ' These navvies became quite a class when canals were cut, and 
came in valuably for the railway work. They took their 
designation from the word 'navig-ation,' and retained it after they 
had changed their occupation. The pure air and hard earth-work 
made them models of physique. They were utterly fearless, and 
were very fond of beer and an occasional fight, but were other- 
wise simple and honest fellows. They were in the habit of calling 
"Ware out," when anything was thrown down or falling; and 
it is said that a man, falling over his barrow at the mouth of an 
abyss, finding that he must inevitably fall down the shaft, cried, 
''Ware out! Navvie a-coming ! " I do not, however, vouch for 
the truth of the story. 

As a number of rats joined the mice and me in our shed, 
and the rain began to damage the books and goods, it was 
found necessary to make room for me in the office of the 
engineer and. timekeepers, beneath an arch of Chalk Farm 
Bridge ; and then we organised a daily ordinary at the Chalk 
Farm Tavern, which suited me better than the cabin-stove 
feasts. The wag of the party was our engineer, who ultimately 
became the General Manager of more than one important 
railway. He used to resent the bad fare provided for us, and 
played the old landlord many a practical joke. On one occasion 
a putrid sucking pig was served, and, as we could not eat it, our 
friend nailed it over the mantel-piece of the room and rang the 
bell. Boniface appeared and tore down the pig, anathematising 
us all. Pigeon-shooting at the place gave us pigeon-pies to 
satiety ; but I suppose the pies were running short one day, 
when a lady and gentleman drove up and ordered dinner. The 
landlord came into our room and asked if we could spare the pie. 
We replied, " In a minute or two;" and it was then taken away, 
but not before " George " had abstracted the pigeons and'replaced 
them with potatoes. *' Guess," said he, " there will be a ringing 
of bells presently," and so there was; also the ordering of the 
horse and gig, in great indignation, and the departure of tjie 
lady and gentleman. At another time the cook was overheard 
remonstrating with the landlord on the unfitness of a goose for 
human food, when mine host was heard to say, *'Oh, bless it, 
pepper it ; pepper it ; /hey' 11 eat it ! " But that goose disappeared, 
and it has not yet been discovered what became of it. 



13 



CHAPTER IV. 

nPHE working- of the line went struggling towards a state of 
order. The rails were found to be too light for the traffic — 
56th fish-bellied rails in some cases — the stone blocks a failure ; 
fires to luggage on the tops of the carriages frequent ; signals by 
flag and hand lamps insufficient. The signalmen, dressed in 
police uniform, had been drilled by Mr. Superintendent Bedford, 
formerly of the Guards and lately of the Metropolitan Police, 
and they brought the flag-staff round to the shoulder, as the 
trains passed, with true military precision. But they were not 
enough, and sig-nal posts were contemplated. These and many 
other defects occupied the Board and Management. The subject 
of goods traffic engaged much consideration, and, on the 
resignation of Mr. Bagster, Mr. Joseph Baxendalewas appointed 
manager of the line. He removed the manager's office to 
Camden Station, in a building originally intended for the 
passenger booking office, before the extension of the railway 
to Euston. Into this building Mr. Robert Stephenson's office was 
also transferred, from a house in St. John's Wood, since called 
the Eyre Arms Tavern, in the grounds at the back of which the 
ladies and gentlemen used to practice for the celebrated Eglinton 
Tournament, which took place about this time. I am afraid 
they hindered the work of the drawing clerks very much, and for 
my own part I must confess that I sometimes tilted when I should 
have been otherwise engaged. 

The stores and engineer's departments were likewise brought 
into the manager's building. 

Two more suitable men could not have been called to the 
councils of the Board at such a period than Mr. Joseph 
Baxendale and Mr. Benjamin Worthy Home. Their experience 
and energy, in relation to the conveyance both of passengers 
and goods, were of the highest order. Yet they were totally 
different in character, as in appearance. Mr. Home was a tall 
wiry man, of determined face and rapid speech, quick in manner. 




14 

irritable, and prompt of action. He largely contributed to the 
g-reat efficiency of the stage coaches, and had been found a bitter 
opponent to many a competitor in the struggles for ascendancy 
on many a road. He once pointed out to me a road-side inn 
where he went one night, years before, and bought up all the 
horses of the coach opposed to his, driving by triumphantly in the 
morning where the rival coach, with its passengers, had come to 
an unexpected stand. Mr. Baxendale was a shorter and a 
broader man than Mr. Home. He was cheerful and witty in 
conversation, ever had a word of encouragement for the 
youngsters, and was universally beloved by those whom 
he employed. The success of Pickford & Co., and the general 
efficiency of that establishment, proved his administrative power ; 
and his foresight and wisdom at this critical time for carriers 
were borne out by eminent results. His clear system of forms 
and arrangements, by which a hold of the goods conveyed is 
maintained from the time they leave the consignor until they 
reach their destination, continues to be the basis of the carrying- 
business all over the kingdom. 



15 



CHAPTER V. 

npHE g-oods traffic was commenced by the transfer of some of 

'■' Messrs. Pickford & Co.'s extensive canal traffic to the line, 

and a small temporary loading- shed was built for the purpose, 

in 1839. The old wagg-on sheds were removed, and an 
1839 adequate workshop for the construction of wagg-ons was 

erected ; while at Euston a commodious carriage shop 
was established, the works being- placed under Mr. Worsdell 
and his son. 

The endless rope by which the trains had been drawn up the 
incline from Euston was abolished, and the marine engines and 
two lofty chimneys at Camden were removed. The long- discussed 
question of the adhesion of the locomotive engine wheels to the 
rails, had been settled in some degree, and that power had 
replaced the rope. The latter had long; worked unsatisfactorily, 
causing many minor accidents, and on one occasion nearly 
destroying- the writer of this humble record. The skid which was 
placed in the rear of the trains sometimes became partly 
detached, and was thrown about wildly on its passage up the 
incline, to the great alarm of persons walking- on the line, of 
whom there were many at that time. The messenger rope from 
the foremost carriage to the endless rope frequently slipped or 
broke. The signal apparatus, which was a vessel on the 
principle of a gasometer, and moved some coloured water in a 
tube at the engine-house end, and also blew a whistle, failed 
occasionally. 

Messrs. Cook and Wheatstone brought to the carriage shops 
a mysterious quantity of wire and began a series of electric 
experiments. Many wondrous reports were told us of our being 
likely to talk with people at a distance, by means of a wire 
and a pianoforte like instrument. There, in a corner of the 
carpenter's shop, reposed the embryo Puck, which was to put a 
girdle round the earth, remove prejudices, equalise prices, 
annihilate space, and, with its elder brother, the railway, mingle 



16 

the races of men and become the many-leag-ued boots on the feet 
of Civilisation. But the doubting" world received this invention 
with incredulity, as it ever does the boons which science confers. 

On July 25th, 1837, two copper wires were laid between 

, Euston and Camden, and the two quiet inventors placed 

themseves one at either end and conversed. The 

1837. mig-hty and mysterious thing- was proved a practical 

success, whose development would bring the human 

voice within instantaneous communication with each other at any 

distance, and make the whole world kin. 

The gradual opening of Railways into London and other 
parts of the Kingdom brought us many learners of our forms and 
system, and occasionally we were sent to them to render 
assistance. On a trip of the kind to Leicester, I first met Mr. 
James Allport, of the Midland Railway, who was then doing duty 
in the booking- office, from whence he rose to the rank of 
Director and Knighthood. 

Further steps were taken to improve the goods traffic. A 
Goods Committee of Directors, with Captain Moorson for 
Chairman, was appointed; that gentleman having become a 
Director. Hitherto the Directors had not taken an active part in 
the details of the departments, and the power for the general 
management rested with the Chief Officers, their proceedings 
being confirmed by the Board in almost a merely formal way. 
The Chairman, Mr. Glyn, and his colleagues, confined their 
personal efforts to matters of policy, finance, &c. The Secretary 
was the Chief Officer, the Superintendent being- responsible to 
him for the working- and staff arrangements. Captain Moorsom, 
in his new office, began a more active control in the details of the 
young- Goods Department. Mr. Wyatt, from Pickford & Co's 
establishment, was made the Goods Manager, and the Company 
began to carry on toll for some of the important carriers, in 
addition to Pickford and Co. Mr. Baxendale, at this time, 
resigned the superintendence of the line, and was succeeded by 
Mr. H. P. Bruyeres, a late Officer of Engineers. The goods 
traffic progi'essed but slowly, however, although inducements 
were offered to road and canal carriers to transfer their business 
to the railway. 



17 

At this time I volunteered from the Stores into the Goods 
Department, which had always seemed to me the most interest- 
ing and important branch of the business. I had 
1840. already familiarised myself with the parcels work, in 
my leisure evenings, and I made the change, believing 
that the merchandise branch of the railways would afford the 
best career, although I knew it to be the most difficult and 
arduous. 

After a few years' service Mr. Wyatt died, and was 
succeeded by Mr. Thomas C. Mills, formerly connected with 
the Birmingham Coaches, and subsequently Station Master at 
Birmingham. He had exhibited considerable energy during the 
riots at Birmingham, when the Company's station was 
threatened. In appearance he resembled the representations 
of Oliver Cromwell. He had much of that great man's blunt- 
ness of character, without, I fear, much of his piety. Under his 
management the tolls were so considerably reduced as to com- 
mand the bulk of the general trade hitherto sent by canal. 
Sheds were erected for the large carriers, for which they paid a 
rental ; and Pickford & Co. built their own premises, adjoining 
the station, on land purchased by Mr. Baxendale years before, 
in anticipation. Chaplin & Home became Goods agents for 
the Grand Junction Railway Co., and had also suitable accommo- 
dation provided for them at Camden. The Company provided 
waggons which they placed in a siding, from whence the carriers 
turned them into their respective sheds. Occasionally the 
Company supplied tarpaulins for the waggons, for which a 
charge was made. I am precise in stating this arrangement, 
because of attempts in after years to deny the rights of Railway 
Companies to terminal charges. When the legislature first pro- 
vided for the toll upon Turnpike Roads, the term did not include any 
services but the transit over the roadway; the coach proprietors 
and others using the way provided their own terminal con- 
veniences. We find the term " toll " used again in reference to 
the Canal charges ; and here also the carriers were permitted to 
use the water-way for the toll they paid, and provide their own 
quays, wharves, and warehouses at the end of the journey. 
Pickford & Co. built their terminal at the City Basin; and 



18 

others rented wharves. It is reasonable to suppose that when 
the Parliamentary powers were granted to the railways, the 
repetition of the use of this word ''toll" was intended to convey 
the same meaning" as when it was used by the same powers for 
canals and roadways. Mr. Baxendale, the largest carrier at 
the time, certainly expected that any future carrier on toll upon 
the railway would have to rent or provide his own terminal con- 
veniences, in addition to the payment of the toll for the use of 
the line. Some years before the London railways carried any 
goods, Mr. Baxendale took the opportunity of purchasing land 
adjoining the London and North Western Railway at Camden 
Station, as before mentioned, sufficient to receive his ware- 
houses when the time should come for the transfer of his traffic 
from the canal to the railway. On this piece of ground he 
afterwards erected his premises at Camden Station, and carried 
on the trade of carrier on toll; while his competitors rented 
sheds, cranes, &c., within the station, which were built by the 
Railway Company. Thus, it was thoroughly understood at this 
period that the toll did not include the terminals ; and I think 
the fact fully shows that the attempt to force the Companies to 
provide costly stations, and then to deprive them of the right to 
a fair remuneration for the provision, was altogether unjust, and 
contrary to all originally understood notions on the subject. 

Under the altered system the traffic increased week by week. 
It fell to my duty to make up the daily totals from the weights ot 

the Company, dividing it under the several rates 
1844. according to the declarations of the carriers; a severe 

task, for many hours each day. I, however, held out, 
and received gratifying promotion. The staff were gradually 
increased, and my position grew in importance. We discovered 
that the declarations of some of the carriers as to the description 
of goods loaded by them in the waggons were often 
systematically false, and we had to appoint a detective, who 
frequently found the real invoices in the waggons to differ entirely 
from the declarations given to the Company. It also happened 
that when trade was brisk, and waggons were in large demand, 
the carriers' men would have a pitched battle for the vehicles; it 
was also found that loads made up at country stations, where the 



19 

weight could not be checked, were overloaded to a dangerous 
extent. 

Meanwhile the higher authorities were commencing 

negotiations for amalgamating the London and Birmingham, 

the Grand Junction, and the Manchester and Birmingham 

1844. Railways into a line to be called the London and North 

Western Railway, under one corporation. The Act of 

Parliament confirming the amalgamation was passed on July i6th, 

1846, after a long series of jealousies and unworthy squabblings. 

Mr. Glyn became the Chairman of the new Company, Robert 
Stephenson was made the engineer-in-chief of the amalgamated 
Companies in 1844, but the London and North Western Railway 
was not in full operation until 1851. The engineering duties 
were divided into sections; Mr. R. B. Dockray taking the 
Southern Division, Mr. Norris and others the Northern 
section. After 1851, Mr. Stephenson had only a consulting fee. 
Captain Mark Huish came to London from Liverpool, and was 
installed as General Manager; which was announced by a flourish 
of trumpets in the form of a circular. His salary was fixed 
at ^2,000 per annum ; calling for much comment, as a monstrous 
stipend : one writer declaring that no manager could be worth 
such a salary. 

Mr. Glyn was well entitled to his increased dignity. He 
was an enlightened gentleman, and his services towards the 
development of railways were afterwards deservedly recognised 
by his elevation to the peerage, under the title of Lord Wolverton 
in the choice of which name he paid a graceful compliment to the 
locomotive centre of the London and Birmingham line, and the 
station where her Majesty passed the night on one of her earliest 
railway journeys. 

Captain Huish was a man of stern demeanour in business. 
He managed the line from his office, seldom visiting the stations, 
but left the details almost wholly in the hands of his responsible 
officers. In private life he was a genial gentleman, a warm 
friend, and ever ready to promote any enterprise for the 
moral and material improvement of the poor. He was possessed 
of considerable literary power, and wrote more than one talented 
paper on the condition and prospects of the railway. After his 



20 

retirement he resided at Bonchurch, where his active benevolence 
rendered him generally respected. On his monument in the 
Bonchurch graveyard his former connection with the Bengal 
native infantry is recorded, but no mention is made of his 
distinguished position with the greatest of English railways. 

So ended the London and Birmingham Railway Company 
as a distinct body ; a happy family of directors and servants, 
every one of whom deemed it an honour to be connected with 
the development of the new mode of locomotion. The directors 
vvere generous and considerate to their officers and servants, and 
the managers worthily interpreted the intentions of the directors 
towards the rank and file. Censure was applied in a manner to 
convince the delinquent of the justice of a rebuke, while judicious 
praise stimulated the exertions of good workers. The establish- 
ment being within reasonable compass, the subsequent modern 
dogmatic and unreasoning discipline was not so necessary as 
the prodigious extension of the railway establishment has perhaps 
rendered it. The few who can recall the time of which I write 
will warmly acknowledge the truth of these remarks. 



21 



CHAPTER VI. 

T TNDER the new organisation the line was divided into districts. 
In the locomotive department we had Mr. Edward 
Bury for the south, Mr. Ramsbottom and Mr. Trevithic for the 
north. In the coaching department Mr. H. P. Bruyeres for the 
south, Mr. Norris, superintendent and engineer, for the north. 
The goods department was managed by Mr. Mills in the south, 
Mr. Eborall, central district, at Birmingham, Mr. Poole at Liver- 
pool, and Mr. Salt at Manchester. Mr. Eborall was the father 
of Mr. Cornelius Eborall, who became for many years the 
esteemed General Manager of the South Eastern Railway, and 
whose death, at a comparatively early age, was deeply lamented. 
In 1847 it was decided to abolish the system of toll carrying, 
and the Railway Company gradually commenced carrying 
directly for the public. Pickford & Co. and Chaplin 
1847. and Home being appointed agents for the cartage ot 
the traffic, and to work the Goods sheds in London. 
A monthly Conference of the Goods Managers and the 
Agents, presided over by Captain Huish, was instituted, at 
which the bitter quarrels of Pickford & Co. and Chaplin and Home 
were the most remarkable feature. Their implacable competition 
with one another, in seeking the trade, was a source of weak- 
ness to the Company ; for the agents would expend as much 
strength in getting customers from one another as in drawing 
them from railways and other competitive services. Pickford & 
Co. withdrew their boats from the canals, and Chaplin and Home, 
who were almost new to the goods traffic, matured their position 
by means of their old Coaching connection and parcels offices. 
Mr. Home threw all his excitable and inexhaustible energy into 



22 

the combat; while the three sons of Mr. Baxendale took the 
manag-ement of Pickford & Co.'s department with increased 
personal feeling and angry opposition. 

The North London Line to Fenchurch Street and Poplar 
was opened in 1846, and at the sug-g-estion of Mr. Home the 
London and North Western Company purchased some Dock 
Warehouses at Haydon Square, Aldg-ate, and formed a Goods 
Station for the City at that place. I accompanied the first 
g"Oods train to Haydon, about four o'clock one fine summer 
morning", and the view of all the sleeping- uncurtained rooms of 
the squalid houses which the train commanded was, indeed, only 
"a sight for a father." The North London Company added to my 
other duties, by consent of the London and North Western 
Company, the office of goods manager, at a small, but to me 
important, salary; at that time Mr. Harry Chubb was the 
secretary. He was an able manager, a just and considerate 
master, an amiable and refined gentleman, and a sincere 
friend. 

The work of uniting all the railways in the Clearing House, 
for the division of the receipts, the making of rates, and a system 
of accounts for a universal carrying, with all the consequent 
details, was a great labour, but it progressed quickly in the 
hands of the able goods managers and accountants to whom it 
was entrusted, and the new arrangement approached completion. 
Periodical conferences of the officers of all the railways in the 
Clearing House were established, and a code of rules for the 
business was printed. Had the Companies at the same time 
taken in hand the management of the cartage, within a radius of 
their respective stations, they would very easily have transferred 
to themselves all the men who actually did the work, and by re- 
jecting the large firms who absorbed so much of the profit (and 
who should have disappeared with the coaches, or confined them- 
selves to the canals and suburb carrying), would have saved 
enormous cost and many years of dispute and difficulty, yet 
unsettled ; while the public would have been drawn nearer to 
them, and the question of a reduction in rates would have pressed 
less heavily. Cartage at a cost price leaves the railway rate to 
be discussed on its merits. Cartage by a contractor, who requires 



23 

a large profit, exhausts the elasticity of the railway rate. With- 
out the cartage in their own hands, therefore, this beautiful 
system of carrying, which conferred such a great benefit on the 
trade of the country, was crippled and incomplete. The public 
require the movement of their merchandise to be one transaction 
from the door to the destination, and any intermediate dealer 
is an extra cost and obstruction. Better- far would it have 
been for the peace of the Companies to have continued their 
carrying on toll, and left the public to the irregular and uncon- 
trolled charges of town carriers, great and small. 

It may be urged that competition between the carters would 
have reduced the charges to the minimum ; but even in the Canal 
time these carriers learned how to combine to keep up prices, and 
they are still, as then, uncontrolled by Acts of Parliament, by Rail- 
way Commissioners, or even by public opinion. I may also state 
that the charges for the porterage (that is, the delivery) of 
packages conveyed by coach, in the old Road time, were 
oppressively exorbitant, and altogether irregular and unchecked. 

Much more could be said on this subject, but it is contro- 
versial ground, and I desire only to write a sketch of the 
experience of a very humble member of the Railway body 
during a period somewhat interesting, and that only within 
the limits of my own immediate sphere. 

Amongst the changes related I had obtained some promotion, 
being appointed chief assistant to Mr. Mills, who was now much 
G^gdiged with other managers in the formation of the altered 
arrangements. I had also the charge of the Camden Station, 
trains, brakesmen, etc., with partial responsibility to Mr. Bruyeres, 
the superintendent of the southern division. My salary was 
advanced, which enabled me to take a wife; an event having 
much more to do with the good working of a railway officer than 
is sometimes supposed. 

During this period of steady duty, there were some " cakes 
and ale." The first Officers' Dinner took place at the Euston 
Hotel, then newly built. Mr. Kenneth Morison presided, and I 
wrote, and sang, a song, which was graciously received. We 
had a cricket club on the fields now covered by the Gloucester 
Road at Camden. Among the members were Mr. Samuel 



24 

Brooks and Mr. Dawson, who whistled duets in sweet fashion ; 
amiable Georg^e Coulter, a hard hitter at cricket, who gave me 
one to long--field which I caught on my eye ; the two Chapmans ; 
the two Bacons, of the Hotel ; Thomas Long- ; J. O. Binger ; and 
many others ; of whom I alone remain in the service — and even 
my cricketing days are long gone by. Groups of faces of the 
young and merry companions of the Stores office, the Goods 
office, the Booking and Audit offices at Euston, etc., rise up to my 
memory. William Haley, a happy bachelor, with a sweet voice 
and exquisite taste; poor Stephen Beadle; bluff Tom Holbein; 
Jacob the messenger, droll as Sam Weller ; pompous but good- 
hearted Bickley; handsome Tom Barker — la-di-da — who once 
thought he gave me a great treat by taking me to see Tom Cribbthe 
bruiser, who appeared to me anything but a representative of 
muscular beauty ; Brennan ; Sadgrove ; Tyers ; James Hewett ; 
Henry Whittle ; Penrucker; Oliver; and others : all talented, 
musical, or in some way amusing — lightening the long hours by 
many a joke; all long since gone, by death and change, in 
foreign lands or otherwise, and succeeded by repeated relays 
of others, as the decades have proceeded. 

I found time in the early Camden Goods years to attend 
lectures, learn mechanics, and study design at Somerset House, 
under Mr. Dyce, R.A., and music under Mr. Hullah ; and I had 
occasional treats at the theatre in Macready's days, with a chop 
afterwards at Paddy Green's entertainment at Evan's Grand 
Hotel, where I took down the songs in shorthand, for my friend 
William Haley. The money-taker at this establishment had a 
curious method of making fourteen-pence one and fourpence, and 
sixteen-pence one and sixpence, greatly to his profit. He had a 
large hole in his forehead, which, perhaps, caused the mathe- 
matical peculiarity. 

In my early youth, I had become familiar with the forms of 
most of the aristocratic celebrities, by visits to the park, etc. ; 
Count D'Orsay, with his magnificent whiskers, his splendid 
cabriolet drawn by two horses, with a bright steel bar across 
them ; the old Duke of Wellington ; the Fitz Clarences ; Sir 
Watkin Wynne, on his stout cob ; Lord Melbourne ; Lord 
Forester ; Lord Chesterfield, etc., so that when any of them came 



25 

to the Railway, which at first was considered a subject of 
curiosity rather than an established institution, I could point them 
out. I have seen the great Sir Robert Peel drav/ down a white nig-ht- 
cap over his wise head, as he settled himself in a carriage for a 
night journey by rail; Lord Brougham borrow paper and 
postage-stamps from the booking clerk ; and I had the honour to 
help Mr. P. Hardwick, the company's architect, to exhibit to 
Queen Adelaide the then new machine for catching the mail bags 
on the railway journey. Daniel O'Connel frequently used the 
line, and wore a blue cloth cap, which made him look like a large 
sized master of a German band. 

I also recognised the members of the theatrical profession; 
for, when a boy, a friend, who had dealings with the theatres, gave 
me opportunities of carrying business communications to them, and 
in my visits to Mr. Palmer, of Drury Lane, I often lingered on the 
bridge above the stage to listen to the singing of Madame 
Malibran, or the declamation of Macready, Helen Fawcet, and 
many others. I was in the Strand theatre one morning and heard 
W. J. Hammond give Douglas Jerrold an account of a violent 
personal encounter on the previous day, between Alfred Bunn — 
*' velvet breeches Bunn" — and Macready. The quarrel, which 
might have resulted in murder, was through some jealousy of 
Macready' s as to Charles Kean. On another occasion, at Covent 
Garden, I was swept away from the slips by a ballet retreating 
to clear the front. I had once an opportunity to call on Harley, 
the great comedian, in Gower Street, but was so overcome by the 
comicality of his approach to me, that I had a great difficulty to 
tell my business for laughter. 

On another occasion, I had to see Macready in his dressing- 
room, at the Haymarket. He was studying his part. At the 
conclusion of my message he turned tragically to me, and bit out 
his thanks, adding that he would send me an order for the gallery. 
Much hurt, and indignant, I bowed and retired. I had rare 
chances of seeing that beautiful woman, and talented actress and 
songstress, Madame Vestris. At the conclusion of a conversation 
with Mr. Palmer, she once said, " Ah ! Mr. Palmer, some day you 
will see me a faded figure at the corner of a street, begging, and 
people will say, 'That is the celebrated Madame Vestris T" 



26 

Palmer never had that grief, althoug-h she was extravagant to the 
last. While touching on theatrical experiences, I may relate 
that in later years, at some private performances at the house of 
a friend, I met a modest young gentleman who was then, I think, 
engaged in the wine trade. He played " Boots at the Swan " 
admirably, and recited some pieces of his own composition, and 
in after conversation was strongly recommended by me and others 
to adopt the stage as a profession. He afterwards did so, and 
with what success the name of J. L. Toole is sufficient to tell. 

The lawyers too were known to me. In my holidays, when 
quite a boy, I had a habit of attending the Law Courts, to listen to 
the trials. Ballantine and Parry, who were then leaders at the 
Old Bailey, always on opposite sides, were at once recognised 
when they appeared. Many a pleasant time have I passed in 
laughing at the witty pleadings and clever cross-examination of 
Charles Phillips, afterwards Commissioner in Bankruptcy, and the 
sad victim of a misunderstanding on the trial of Courvoisier, for the 
murder of Lord William Russell. I happened to be in court at 
the trial of a Chartist, whom the Attorney General Jarvis 
prosecuted and Kenealy defended, when the latter was rebuked 
for his strong language to Mr. Attorney. He used stronger 
language on the Tichborne trial years afterwards. I was 
present at part of the trial of Hocker, for the murder of his friend 
Delarue. Both had been teachers of languages at Hampstead, 
and Hocker had been a constant attendant at the Parish Church. 
He at one time sought to pay his addresses to the daughter of a 
widow lady of my acquaintance, and she commissioned me to see 
him and make inquiries as to his respectability. I met Hocker 
and found him to be an educated but flighty and conceited youngs 
man. For this and other reasons I reported against his eligibility. 
A year, probably, afterwards, returning home to Hampstead 
one night, I was told that a man had been killed in a field next 
the wall of the extensive grounds surrounding Belsize House, now 
covered by the houses called Belsize Gardens. The murderer, 
as it afterwards appeared, left his victim and ran across the 
field to the Swiss Cottage, washing his hands in the snow on the 
way; and, after fortifying himself with some brandy, returned to 
the spot and assisted to carry the body to the Yorkshire Grey at 



27 

Hampstead. Hocker was afterwards cleverly traced to be the 
murderer, and offered, as his defence, the unlikely story that he had 
accompanied the brother of a young- lady at Hampstead, to 
-chastise Delarue for misconduct towards her. The brother, he 
averred, struck the fatal blow, but he, Hocker, being- engag-ed to 
the young lady, could not betray the brother, or he would be a 
traitor. If he suffered for the offence, he would die a martyr. 
This defence, the police told me, the counsel rejected as entirely 
against the evidence ; but the authorities thought it necessary to 
jnake an inquiry' at Hampstead, to discover any love affair that 
might have existed, and somehow found the little matter of my 
friend the widow lady's daughter, and my inquiry. In 
•consequence of which the police called at my lodgings and searched 
the lady's house, in a very rough and painful way, confiscating 
some of Hooker's letters which they discovered, as great prizes 
of detection. The circumstance caused endless excitement and 
reports, and a long period of serious annoyances, but the Sheriff 
afterwards obtained, in writing, from the prisoner, a complete 
statement that he had not the slightest intention to allude in the 
most remote degree to my young friend. 

Captain Moorsom became Admiral Moorsom, and Chairman 
of the Chester and Holyhead Railway; J. O. Binger 
General Manager of that Railway, and Robert Mansell, brother 
•of Dean Mansell, the Secretary. The line was afterwards 
.amalgamated with the London and North Western, when Mr. 
Binger was appointed superintendent of the Chester and 
Holyhead district, and, Mr. Chubb having retired, Mr. Mansell 
came to the North London Line, which was always mainly the 
property of the London and North Western Company. The 
Admiral succeeded to the chair of the London and North 
Western Board in 1861, after the retirement of the Marquis of 
•Chandos. Mr. Glyn had retired in 1853, and had been succeeded 
first by General Anson and then by the Marquis of Chandos. 
This nobleman had made his name heroic by cutting off the 
entail of his father's estate, to pay the Duke's creditors, and had 
to devote his energies to work, to sustain the consequences. 
Previous to his appointment he was inspecting the departments 
of the railway and called at Mr, Bruyeres' office. Poor Watts, 



28 

a clerk, who was somewhat impressed with his own official 
dig-nity, asked his lordship what he wanted -" a situation ? If so, 
there are no vacancies. Besides, you're too short." The 
Marquis replied, "Then I will leave my card" "Oh, your card. 
Very well." But when Watts read the card he fell down and 
worshipped, and never smiled again. 

Old Mr. Creed, the Secretary, retired in September, 1848, 
and was succeeded by Mr. C. E. Stewart. 

Mr. Stewart had seen foreig^n service in the civil department 
of Government, and was a g-entleman eminently qualified for his 
new position. During- my communication with him he received an 
anonymous letter charging me with purloining the Company's 
property. He sent for me and bade me read it, and then asked 
if I knew how he intended to dispose of it — immediately putting it 
into the fire. Captain Huish entered at the moment, and, on 
being told the circumstances, requested me if I could find the 
author, to take legal proceedings, and the Company would bear 
the expense. He said it would doubtless be found to have been 
sent by some discharged man : which turned out to be the case. 

The Secretary's duty at this time was less classified from the 
General Manager's than after Mr. Cawkwell's period, and Mr. 
Stewart received applications for railway evidence in parliament 
and elsewhere. He did me the honour to nominate me as L. & 
N. W. witness in a great number of cases — service which was 
often very remunerative and much missed by me in after days, 
having given evidence in every court of judicature, from the House 
of Lords to the Coroner's Inquest. In later years Mr. Stewart 
nominated me for the post of Agent to the Great Indian 
Peninsular Railway, in Bombay, at £3,000 per annum, which \ 
should have obtained but for Captain Sherrard Osborne, who 
brought greater interest in his favour at the last moment. 

Mr. Edward Bury's four-wheeled engines had been the subject 
of much controversy in the railway newspapers. They were 
superior to any previously used, but were not strong enough for 
the traffic; he retired in March, '47. He had been of great 
service to the Company, not only in his own department. 
He was succeeded by Mr. McConnell, a strong and determined 
man of the rough sort. By -the aid of Mr. Madigan of the 



29 

Permanent Way Department, and others, he successfully resisted 
a strike of the engine-drivers. The guards who rode on the 
engine-plate, to direct the new men, received printed certificates 
of special service during this serious difficulty. 

Mr. McConnell's "Bloomers," 7-6 fly-wheel, and six-wheeled 
coupled engines, were a great success and made his name. He 
was the author of many locomotive improvements and patents, 
which brought him wealth, and he afterwards retired to Aylesbury, 
became a member of the County Bench of magistrates, and sat, 
in that capacity, with Disraeli. I received many acts of 
hospitable courtesy at his hands, as well as offers of appointments 
on foreign railways. 

In Mr. Stewart's Secretaryship before Captain Huish retired, 
Mr. Edward Watkin became an under Secretary. He took an 
active part in all the important transactions of the Company, and 
exhibited talent of no ordinary kind. Had he remained he 
would doubtless have succeeded to the highest position, but he 
sought "pastures new," and is now Sir Edward Watkin, Bart. 
Under his direction I was commissioned to contest the re-election 
of some of the members of the Parochial Board of the St. Pancras 
Parish — that body having behaved in an arbitrary manner to the 
Company. We were defeated in the first contest, but when the new 
Metropolitan Management Act came into force, a new Board 
of respectable and in many cases distinguished men were elected 
and took their seats under the chairmanship of the Rev. Thomas 
Dale, Vicar of the Parish. I represented the Company, and 
added to my experience as Chairman of the Assessment Rate 
and Appeal Committee. 

While the years were gliding by and the everlasting 
principles of change and renewal were operating on the railway, 
as in all things, the traffic increased, and branch lines and 
amalgamations were added to the L. & N. W. Company. The 
stations and appliances became too small — were always, in fact, 
behind the requirements, and officers and servants were too 
frequently condemned and removed, instead of the real remedy 
of suitable enlargement being promptly applied. The coal 
grew, from small beginnings, into a heavy traffic. When the Clay 
Cross Company first proposed to send coals by rail to London, it is 



80 

said that Mr. Bruyeres would not receive it from the Midland 
Company, at Rugby, unless it were restricted to a few wagon 
loads at a time, covered carefully with tarpaulins — a restriction 
that speedily gave way. The first consignment of Clay Cross coal 
by rail to London was brought to Kilburn Station in July 1845, 
and was sold by Mr. Baker, a gentleman still in the employment 
of the Clay Cross Company. The Ince Hall Coal was shortly 
afterwards sent by Messrs. Lee and Jerdein. The cattle traffic 
necessitated the erection of a large cattle station at Camden. 
The animals, who always, in their excitement, ran the wrong way, 
often escaped on to the main line and charged the trains, getting, 
of course, the worst of such encounters. The cattle landing was 
ultimately removed to the Maiden Lane Station, which reduced, 
but never entirely stopped, such casualties. These were not 
confined to bullocks from the cattle pens. A sharp watchman, in 
a dimly lighted goods shed at Camden, once found a bear, which 
had escaped from Euston, crouching against a waggon, and, 
taking it for a thief, he pounced upon it, but retreated in dismay, 
unhurt. A hue-and-cry was raised, and poor Bruin was captured, 
after a spirited chase. At another time a tiger in a case fell from 
a load on to the railway. The fall smashed the case, and the 
tiger trotted along the line. Some soldiers were obtained from 
a neighbouring barrack and went in pursuit. They found that 
the signalman had climbed a telegraph post to get out of the way, 
but on nearing the tiger they discovered that they had marched 
without ammunition, and the tiger fell to the gun of a gentleman 
who lived near the spot. A case containing a crocodile similarly 
fell from a train, and an inspector, walking the line, thought he 
was nearing a man run over, but he speedily went back for 
assistance, on arriving at the object of his attention. 



31 



_______ CHAPTER VII. 

TN August, 1846, Mr. Glyn cautioned the proprietors as to 
the probable decrease in the value of the property, and in 
February, 1847, a reduction of the dividend was declared for the 
last half of 1846. Dissatisfaction ensued, which continued until 
185 1, when Mr. Richard Moon was elected a Director. This 
gentleman immediately took a very active part in the affairs ot 
the Company, and was appointed, with two other Directors, to 
examine the whole working of the establishment. The depart- 
ments were at this time imperfectly controlled by head quarters. 
Different systems prevailed in the Districts, according to the 
differing views of the Managers and Superintendents. The 
Goods Managers made their own rates. The purchase of stores 
was extravagantly conducted, and the sale of old materials was 
open to irregularities and dishonesty. The check departments 
were insufficient, and the discipline of the staff was loose ; while 
passes for free travelling were issued by all departments and were 
shamefully abused. Matters which appeared insignificant, 
compared with the principal transactions of the Company, yet 
involving the expenditure of large sums of m.oney, were left 
entirely in the hands of officers in receipt of small salaries : and 
some of them proved unworthy of their trust. In short, the then 
unusually large establishment appeared incapable of effective 
management by ordinary methods. Yet Mr. Moon brought to 
the task he and his colleagues had undertaken the simple maxims 
of an industrious and vigilant merchant. By expanding them to 
the magnitude of the concern, he believed that he could make it 
thoroughly well governed and completely disciplined. He 
ultimately succeeded, after many years of untiring labour, amidst 
opposition of every kind; and the voluminous programme 
of reforms which he registered during the searching investigation 
he had made was finally completed by the removal of the 
Agents from the possession of the London Goods Stations, ten 
years afterwards. 



32 

De mortuis nil nisi homwi is not the rule of the historia,n. It 
is of the dead he speaks freely ; of the living- he is silent. 1 ask 
for an exception in the case of Mr. Moon, in describing- him as a 
man of grave aspect, with a pleasant smile, enhanced by its 
rarity ; always approachable to those of his officers in whom he 
believed. He had a single eye for the Company's interest, an 
insatiable capacity for details, and a belief in a personal 
examination of every person and place on whom or which a 
decision was necessary. After he became Chairman, his 
unadorned addresses to the proprietors were like familiar 
conversations between the head of a firm and his partners. Such 
a reformer was inevitably unpopular. Many of the Directors, 
and more of the officers, from the Manager downwards, decried 
his recommendations and opposed him. He was condemned as 
mean, self-seeking, and petty in his views — partial in his appoint- 
ment of officers — and ungrateful for earnest services — unjust to 
old servants, and capricious and conceited of his own views. I 
believe I was the first man who worked heartily with him, and, so 
far as could be consistent with the difference of our rank, a mutual 
friendship was soon established between us. For many years, no 
week passed without our exchanging written communications. Mr. 
Moon was alike indifferent to good or evil repute, and tenaciously 
pursued the even tenor of his way, until, as I have said, he carried 
all his points in time. Change in the Directorate, and the 
manifestly good results of his measures, brought him supporters. 
The Marquis of Chandos retired, and Admiral Moorsom 
succeeded to the Chairmanship. In 1861 the latter died, 
and Mr. Moon was appointed to the office. From this date 
commenced that steady course of improvement and enlightened 
progress which has enabled the Railway to take its place as one 
of the most complete organisations in the world, and the leading 
line of this kingdom. The perfect supervision of every depart- 
ment of the establishment by Committees of Directors, the careful 
choice of managers and staff, the soundness of the plant, the 
enterprising and wise expenditure to widen and extend the line to 
meet the increasing traffic, the constant additions to the comforts 
and safety of travelling — are all unsurpassed, if in any way 
equalled, in this or any other country ; while not the least is to 



33 

be commended the liberal treatment of the officers and staff in 
providing- for their retirement and old age. Before this 
consummation could be approached, Mr. Moon had many years 
of active service and constant labour, many disappointments, and 
much to call forth and exercise his indomitable courage and 
persistence. 

In the Stores Department Mr. Chapman was removed, and 
the system of purchase entirely altered. In the Goods Mr. 
Eborall died and was replaced by Mr. Broughton. Mr' 
Braithwaite Poole, of Liverpool, and Mr. Salt, of Manchester, left 
the service. Mr. Poole had been made the first Chief Goods 
Manager by Captain Huish. He was an accomplished and 
clever man, and a delightful social companion. He wrote some 
useful compilations for railway work, and was highly appreciated 
at the Railway Clearing House Committees ; but he was far too 
ambitious, and too indifferent to the details of his department, to 
suit the ideas of the Chairman. Some blot was discovered in Mr. 
Salt's management, in which his assistant, Mr. Kay, was involved, 
but the latter speedily regained the confidence of his superiors. 
He was appointed temporarily to manage part of the goods of the 
Manchester District, and Mr. Noden was put over another part. 
Mr. Mills was removed to Euston and succeeded Mr. Poole as 
<^hief Goods Manager. I succeeded to his district ; Mr. Huntley 
to Wolverhampton. We were thus a new Goods Conference, 
under the chairmanship of Mr. Mills ; Mr. Broughton acting as 
Secretary. A General Conference of all the officers. 
Superintendents of the Coaching Department and Goods 
Managers, was also formed, under the chairmanship of the 
General Manager. 

As time sped, and Mr. Moon had almost completed his 
programme of reforms, the last item, namely, the removal of 
the Agents from the shed work of the London stations, came to 
the front. Captain Huish had resigned, and Mr. Cawkwell, from 
the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, was appointed General 
Manager; but he and some of the Directors did not sym.pathise 
with this important change. Mr. Charles Mason, who had 
joined the Company as chief Goods Manager on the 
superannuation of Mr. Mills, had scarcely yet grasped his 



34 

department. Messrs. Pickford and Co., and Messrs. Chaplin and 
Home were, of course, bitterly opposed to their removal from 
the stations, and they had many staunch friends at the Board. 
Much discussion ensued, but the Chairman persevered; and, 
finally, I consummated my many reports on the subject by a 
statement at the Board. I was exposed to a severe cross- 
examination for some hours, resulting in a favourable vote and 
many unexpected compliments on the manner in which I had 
sustained the ordeal. Mr. Home, who had implied that he 
should abide by the decision of the Directors, and either hoped 
for a different result or thought Pickford and Co. would resist, 
became furious. He applied for an injunction, and the case was 
tried, Sir Hugh Cairns advocating the Company's case. The 
injunction was refused, and from that time Mr. Home pursued 
me with unrelenting persecution. He left nothing undone, no 
vituperation unsaid, to ruin me with the Directors and the 
management. 

The Goods establishment in London was transferred to the 
Company, giving me nights and days of labour and anxiety ; the 
Chairman alone in any way helping me with advice, assistance 
or authority. 

The general organisation was soon brought into form, 
although Pickford & Co. carried away nearly all the best men. 
I had to find an accountant from the staff of Chaplin and Home. 
He succumbed to the numberless obstructions of the agents, who 
had ample means of active annoyance in the cartage accounts. 
The invoice tissue copies were often mysteriously destroyed or 
missing, and it became evident that a stronger man should take 
the work in hand. Mr. Ephraim Wood, from the Audit Office, 
at Euston, was chosen, and, after many months of skilful industry 
and determination, brought the accounts to a balance, and 
triumphantly placed this part of the work in perfect order. He 
received deserved promotions for his exertions. 

In looking for a chief assistant I displeased Mr. Reay, who 
was then the chief of the Audit Office, by endeavouring to obtain 
Mr. Houghton for the appointment. He was willing to come, 
but Mr. Reay valued his assistance, and I at length accepted Mr. 
Stewart's nominee, Mr. Briscoe, who had been a soldier in the 



35 



celebrated charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava. He was 
an able and active man, and was soon removed to a more 
important post. 

After the removal of the agents, a few years of tolerably 
regular work ensued, always accompanied by Mr. Home's 
never ceasing attacks. 



36 



CHAPTER VIII. 

pRIOR to these events., as previously stated, Mr. Mills v^as 
placed on the retired list. I had the best authority for 
hoping- that I should succeed him, but the completion of the work 
at Camden tied me to that place, and I lost the chance. Mr. 
Reay, of the Audit Office, wsls proposed, but Mr. Charles Mason, 
who had competed for the general managership, was ultimately 
chosen. He came from the Birkenhead Railway, and was a 
shrewd and indefatigable man of business, after the Chairman's 
own heart ; a disciplinarian, but ever considerate to those under 
him ; sharp and decided with real offenders, but reluctant to find 
fault, and desirous of being friendly and cheery with his 
subordinates, which gave force to deserved rebukes. 

The business grew, until it was evident that the goods 
stations in London were too small for the traffic. Space was 
purchased near Broad Street for a large City Station. While 
Broad Street Station was preparing, a proposition arose for the 
erection of a large shed at Camden, in which to treat the goods 
on an altered principle — a system which no one who knows the 
details of the London work would approve. I could not succeed 
in convincing the Directors and the Management that the plan 
would certainly fail. I intimated that the scheme should wait 
until Broad Street Depot became completed, and the effect upon 
Camden should be ascertained. I was told that Broad Street 
would take little of the traffic from Camden. The opening of the 
City Station proved the correctness of my representations. 

Whether it was considered that I should not give the new 
method fair play, or that Mr. Home's incessant reports and 
violent tirades became intolerable, I do not know; but it was 
decided that a gentleman from Manchester, who was said to 
understand the proposed mode of working, should carry out the 
change. I had visited Manchester with Mr. Mason, but could find 
no system in operation with miscellaneous goods such as 
those in London. When the shed was finished Mr. Greenish was 



. 37 

appointed, and I was removed to Euston, and was appointed to 
take charg-e of an enlarged southern district of the Goods 
Department, extending- from Kensing-ton to near Stafford and 
Birmingham, including the branch lines intervening, and after a 
short period, with the further charge of opening the Company's 
new stations at Leicester and Derby, and the new development 
. of the Midland Collieries, and the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Railway, 
with the outlying agencies at Leicester, Newark, Gloucester, 
Cheltenham, Worcester and Southampton. 

Meanwhile the new system was commenced, and, as I had 
predicted, it threw the provincial work into such confusion, that 
in a few days its failure had to be admitted and the old method 
resumed. 

My office at Euston being considered insufficiently central 
for my new work, Mr. Cawkwell informed me that I should 
remove to Rugby. To leave London was a severe trial to me." 
I left my friends and the pleasant associations of many years. I 
ceased to be a member of the Clearing House Goods Conference, 
and lost much of my position with Mr. Mason, whom, as I have 
said, I had assisted to manage the line during Mr. Cawkwell's 
continued absence. 

During the absence of Mr. Cawkwell through ill health Mr. 
Mason considered it necessary to give me assistance, in order 
that I might aid him in negotiations with other Companies, 
increased duties, parliamentary and others, at Euston, and as no 
eligible person on the line appeared available, I was instructed to 
find a suitable Railway man elsewhere. I at first selected Mr. 
John Noble of the Clearing House. The terms I offered were 
considered insufficient by Mr. Noble. He afterwards took 
service with the Midland Company, and ultimately became the 
General Manager of that line. I next appointed Mr. Lambert ot 
the Great Eastern. He closed with my proposals, and assisted me 
as previously recorded, first in the district at Northampton and 
afterwards in charge of the London Stations. On Mr. Cawkwell's 
return sometime afterwards, the arrangement for my removal 
to Rugby and Mr. Greenish to Camden, no provision for Mr. 
Lambert appeared to have been considered, and, on enquiry as to 
what duties he was to fulfil under the change, he was ordered to 



38 

take a subordinate appointment under Mr. Greenish, which, 
considering- that the country portion of the division was to be 
taken away with me, was a fall to Mr. Lambert. He seemed to 
think he had been brought away from the Great Eastern under 
a misrepresentation, and, as I felt personally concerned in the 
good faith towards him, I introduced him to Mr. Grant, the 
General Goods Manag-er of the Great Western, who, on my 
representation of his high qualities, immediately engaged him. 
The change was fortunate for Mr. Lambert, who subsequently 
succeeded Mr. Grant, on that gentleman's lamented death, and in 
later times obtained the position of General Manager of the 
Great Western Railway. Mr. Grant was profuse in his thanks 
to me on several occasions as to the benefit I brought to his 
Company by the transfer of Mr. Lambert. 

I had now to resign my commission as Captain in the 
Middlesex Artillery Volunteers, of which corps the Duke ot 
Buckingham was Colonel. My weekly attendance at the Coal 
Exchange was to continue, and was a little relief to my exile. 
Occasional kindness from Mr. Mason and the chairman also 
consoled me. The circumstances of the case rendered them 
powerless to prevent my removal, but did not lose me their 
confidence. I started to take possession of my duties at 
Rugby one Sunday night, but on reaching Euston I was so heart- 
sick and unhappy that I returned to my home in town and went 
the next morning. The new work and the fresh air of the 
country soon restored my spirits, and I settled down in the 
position as a permanent thing for the rest of my service. 
Advance in salary and frequent recognition of work 
conscientiously done helped me to forget disappointments, and, 
as I considered, my unjust treatment. 

Additions in these years were made to the Goods Conference. 
Mr. D. Parsons, Mr. Carter, Mr. Bradshaw, and occasionally Mr. 
George Findlay, from South Wales, became members; Mr. 
Mason, and, in his absence, myself, presiding. In time the 
Company purchased the South Wales line, and, with it, Mr. 
Findlay was transferred to the London and North Western 
service. Ultimately he came to London and was made General 
Goods Manager, Mr. Mason taking the post of Assistant General 



39 

Manager. Mr. Home found his match in Mr. Findlay. The 
former had been in the habit of visiting- Euston, carrying in his 
hands his hat, and in his pockets a confusion of papers. He 
would call at one office and exclaim 

"Ah, Manager No. i Out ; 
Gone fishing, no doubt I " 

— at another and say, 

" Of course. Manager No, 2 
Gone fishing also ! " 

— at another and say, 

" Manager Mason gone to look after 
His cracked stones ! " 

But he had occasion to abandon that kind of conduct with 
Mr. Findlay, who subdued him very considerably in a little time ; 
although he never ceased to rage, and Mr. Greenish fared as 
badly with him a I had done. When very ill Mr. Home rose 
from his sick-bed and came to the conference, and Mr. Findlay 
addressed to him some congratulatory words as to his returning 
health. He replied with angry remarks, condemning all the 
officers wholesale. Soon afterwards his restless and wearied 
spirit found the common fate of us all, and his place knew him 
no more. He did good service during his fretful hour on the stage 
of life, and his eccentricities, on the whole, provoked more smiles 
than anger. 

About this time Mr. Robert Savill, the Assistant Secretary, 
was superannuated. He had been with the London and Bir- 
mingham portion of the line from the formation of the Company, 
and was universally esteemed by the staff and the public. In 
this year of the Queen's Jubilee [1887] he is still alive and 
vigorous, and continues his useful life in the sphere in which he 
moves, as a private gentleman. 

Mr. Reay, of the Audit Office, became Secretary, vice 
Mr. Stewart, who retired and soon after died. Mr. Coldwell 
succeeded Mr. Reay in the Audit Department, and died after a 
comparatively short enjoyment of his position ; Mr. Partington 
succeeding him. 

In the past decade there had been still occasional '* Cakes 
and Ale." In the Marquis of Chandos's reign he invited a 
number of Directors and Officers, and their wives, to a fete at his 
country residence, and we enjoyed boating and feasting and the 



40 

hospitable society of the Marquis and Marchioness. On another 
occasion I accompanied my volunteer regiment to the Battle of 
Stowe. We were quartered with the Yeomanry Cavalry. My 
Company was told off to the fortress in the grounds, and I am 
afraid that if our guns had been shotted we should have slain 
many of our friends. The Monthly Conference always dined 
together and enjoyed many hours of pleasant intercourse. Of 
such meetings Mr. Dudley Parsons was the leading spirit. At the 
Officers' meetings, during Captain Huish's time at Birmingham, 
we had always a formal meal after the work. At one of these 
gatherings we bade farewell to Mr. Slater, of the Carriage 
Department, who resigned, on which occasion I wrote an 
impromptu song, and had the assurance to sing it. At another of 
these meetings Mr. Cawkwell changed chairs with Captain Huish, 
on the latter's retirement. Then, the retirement of any of the 
Managers was always celebrated by a testimonial, present and 
a dinner; Dudley Parsons, the provider and king of the feast. 
The vacancies by death and change had been replaced by 
Mr. David Taylor at Liverpool, Mr. Farr at Manchester, Mr. 
John Mason at Birmingham, and others. Districts were altered 
and extended, and other members were added to the conference. 
The monthly social meetings were merged into an annual 
dinner, which came off at some place away from town — the 
Crystal Palace, Richmond, Malvern, Windermere, Sec, under my 
secretaryship, after Mr. Parsons left the service. All these 
occasions were pleasant breaks in our official toil. 

The sudden death of Mr. Charles Mason was a shock to us 
all, and extinguished in me any remaining hope of further 
promotion in the service. Besides which, in him I lost a true and 
real personal friend. Many a happy evening I can recall, spent 
with him in star-watching, with his powerful telescope, or with the 
Royal Astronomical Society, of which he was a fellow ; many a 
day's shooting in the holidays, and many hours of pleasant work 
in deciding knotty questions relating to the business of the line, 
or in drawing up reports. After Mr. Mason's death, Mr. George 
Findlay was appointed Assistant General Manager, and I began 
to revive a little hope that the office of Chief Goods Manager 
might fall to me. It became apparent, however, that Mr. Thomas 



41 

Kay was nominated. While the matter was under discussion, 
Mr. Kay generously proposed to me to ask the Directors to 
divide the appointment into two, North and South. The pro- 
posal was made, but rejected, and Mr. Kay succeeded to the 
appointment ; for a time he remained at Manchester, but 
afterwards came to London. 

Without any feeling of envy for Mr. Kay, whose worthy and 
honest character I greatly admired, I felt the disappointment 
keenly. It was no reflection on me to be displaced by such a man 
as Mr. Mason or Mr, Findlay, but, as compared with Mr. Kay, 
I was the older servant and slightly the senior manager. I had 
greater experience, both in the management of a large 
establishment and in the highest management of the concern, 
and was better acquainted with the general affairs of the Company. 
I may add, without egotism, that I was better educated. The 
Duke of Buckingham, from whom I had always received the most 
kindly recognition, meeting me at this time, offered me some 
consoling remarks, saying he supposed it was " a descent of the 
Normans." Some pleasant words from the Chairman and a 
little time, with the reflection that the Directors had a right 
to set up or put down whomsoever they pleased, brought me 
back to my usual cheerful condition of mind, and I gave to 
Mr. Kay, my cordial and loyal co-operation, *'as in duty bound." 
He was afterwards assisted by the appointment of Mr. Houghton 
to the post of Assistant Goods Manager. 

My residence in Warwickshire obtained for me many new 
friends, among them Mr. Newdegate, M.P., to whom I rendered a 
little service in regard to his estate. He placed me on the free 
list of his newspaper, and never ceased to treat me with marked 
consideration until his death. My few leisure hours were spent in 
the delights of my large garden, or in advocating in the local 
press some contested improvements in the affairs of the place, 
under a nom de plume which became well known. The beauty of 
the country through which I travelled in my daily rounds, at all 
seasons gave me intense enjoyment, and made me conscious that 
there was something to see in the world besides the rough and 
tumble excitement of railway work. I found amusement in the 
characters of traders with whom I had to deal, and food 



42 

or observation in the social cliques and parties of the towns 
where I transacted business. I began to think myself too old for 
any further notice by my railway superiors. I thought my little 
career had culminated, and was content and happy during some 
very pleasant years. 



43 



CHAPTER IX. 

TN the early part ot the year 1877, I was privately informed 
that the original design of taking over the Agency of Messrs. 
Chaplin and Home was to be consummated. "When the idea 
was first entertained, during Mr, Charles Mason's Goods 
Managership, and when my difficulties with Mr. Home were in 
full force, I had been named for the future management of this 
work. I now thought I might still be considered qualified for 
the post. The hope gave me new life. In the end, I received 
the appointment, and came to London to commence one of the most 
arduous undertakings that had hitherto fallen to my lot. I found 
the town offices in a very confused and irregular condition, as 
regards charges, check, and discipline. The cartage irregularly 
and expensively worked, and the canvassing department 
unsystematic. Five or six years of incessant labour and attention 
absorbed the offices into the railway method of audit and 
supervision. The cartage and canvassing were organised into 
districts. New premises in several parts of London were opened, 
and the old offices improved. The Agency was altogether made 
to cover the Metropolis with useful means of communication by 
the public with the Company's main establishment, and advertised 
the London and North Western Railway more prominently than 
it had ever been previously. The arrangements in degree 
contributed to the great popularity which has lately marked the 
progress of the railway, and helped to establish it as the 
acknowledged leader of the British rsiilways. I attribute the 
success of these efforts mainly to the freedom of action kindly 
accorded to me during the early years of the change. I had not 
the usual, and, as a rule, necessary interference with the proceedings. 
I carried out my views, and reported the results to the General 
Manager and the Committee, formed for the purpose, under the 
Chairman of the Company, I understood the business, and 
enjoyed the confidence of my superiors; and it was a labor of 
love in the city I understood best, and which was the place in all 
the world I most valued. My banishment had been indeed to me 



44 

an exile, and I may be pardoned a little feeling of triumph at 
returning to the scene of my severe persecution in a position of 
trust and command. Ten years have rapidly past, and in the 
course of that time the Agency has become welded into the 
Company's establishment, and duly subjected to the departments 
and regulations of the railv^ay. The saving in the expenses paid 
off the purchase money in the first three years, and the progress 
has been satisfactorily continued up to the present time; 
notwithstanding many circumstances adverse to the parcels 
trade. The whole of the London Stations, during recent years, 
have been added to my charge, in all composing a staff of 
nearly three thousand hands, and many hundreds of horses. 

The London places for the reception of goods and parcels 
and for other conveniences of the public are as follows, viz. : — 

NUMBER OF GOQDS STATIONS, OFFICES, ^c. 



No, 

Goods Stations 5 

Outlying Stations, Goods and Coal 22 

Coal Depots only 3 

Town Offices 33 

London and North Western Stations, 

Parcel Offices 10 

Do. Universal Offices, 

Goods and Parcels 5 

North London Stations, Parcels Offices ... 18 

Do. Universal Offices, Goods 

and Parcels 8 

West London Stations, Parcels Offices ... 4 



108 



Pickford and Companys' Goods and 

Parcels Offices 25 

Auxiliary do 15 

40 
Total 148 



45 

I am now fulfilling- the final years of my service, and while I 
apologise for this somewhat self laudatory record of to me the 
most enjoyable part of my career, I venture to hope for a belief in 
the minds of my employers that I have executed my trust. 

While I have been occupied with trade and shipping — 
customs and bills of lading — warehouses — barges — carts and 
horses — sales — markets — exhibitions and theatrical parties and 
ships crews, and so dealing with all sorts and conditions of men in 
this vast Metropolis, what of the line ? Many writers have told the 
tale of its wondrous advancement. Science has been busy with 
the Engines, the Signals, and the Brakes, taste and comfort in 
the Carriage have occupied the best eff"orts of the Mechanic and 
Upholsterer — and the perfection in travelling has culminated in 
the Royal and other trains. Long may the goodly work continue, 
and the prosperity of the dear old country render it necessary 
when my humble pen shall have lost its cunning, and my little 
share of duty as one of the pioneers of the great invention shall 
be forgotten in the dust. 



46 

■foV 



RAILWAY. 
HOURS OF DEPARTURE. 

COMMENCING 29th OCTOBER, 1837. 

From London: 

FIRST TRAIN - - - 8 o'Cloch A.M. 

SECOND do. - - - 10 Clock A.M. 

THIRD do. - - - 2 o'Cfocyf; P.M. 

FOURTH do. - - - 5 o'Cfocyfc P.M. 

From Tring: 

FIRST TRAIN - - - 8 o'Clock A.M. 

SECOND do. - - - 10 o'Cfoc^ A.M. 

yff/i?D Jo. - - - 2 o'Cfoofc P.M. 

FOURTH do. - - - 7 o'clock P.M. 

Every Monday Morning:, the First Train from 
Tring will leave at Seven, instead of Eight. 



ON SUNDAYS, 

FROM 

London and Tring: 

FIRST TRAIN - - ^ pa^-t 9 o'Clock A.M. 
SECOND do. - - i past 1 o'Clock P.M. 
yff/fii) do. - - - 5 o'clock P.M. 



•■*« 



47 



PART II. 



OLD LETTERS & JOURNALS, 



My Dear Tubnbull, 

The story I told to your wife a few evenings ago is 
perfectly correct, but if you wish to have it in detail, it is as 
follows : — 

My father's family hailed from a Scottish estate, which had 
been in their possession for 26 generations. My father went into 
trade as a London merchant, but died at the early age of 38, 
leaving my mother with three children — two sisters and myself, the 
youngest born. In an evil hour she married again, and her second 
husband soon scattered her little stock of money, and was thrown 
into Whitecross prison for debt. At this place he met with a 
Mr. Gardener, who, for some purpose, wished to adopt a little 
boy of my age, and some bargain was made between them about 
myself. Some months after my stepfather had left the prison I 
had been put to bed one night, when Mr. Gardener came for 
me. I was dressed and taken away by him in the "dickey" of a 
four-horse coach to a house near New Cross, then quite in the 
country, where in an upper room a lady was lyingupon abed. As we 
entered she rose and took me on her knee, called me darling and 
caressed me. My age was probably about five years at this 
time. In a day or two I was sent to a neighbouring preparatory 



48 

school. I fretted a little for my mother, but on the whole I was toler- 
ably happy. After a few months stay, I was permitted to go home 
and see my family. I had been told that in future I should be 
called Edward Gardener, and the lady and g-entleman my mamma 
and papa. Of course I gave a very satisfactory account of my 
quarters at New Cross. My mother was satisfied, and then I 
returned to my adopted parents. In a few months I left the school, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Gardener appeared to g-et into difficulties. A 
Major Haswell, the lady's father, had occasionally visited the 
house. The old gentleman took some notice of me, and would 
often walk up and down the room and teach me my tables. In 
\iis visits now, however, he always appeared very angry. After 
a while they ceased, and the family appeared approaching 
starvation. For weeks together we had an insufficiency of food, 
faring almost exclusively on potatoes and red herrings. My 
clothing was neglected and I went without shoes. I was 
frequently beaten by the lady and frightened by figures dressed 
up in the garden, while the man would sometimes give me port 
wine until I was ill. He would frequently swear and teach me 
filthy songs. Matters grew worse, and finally the lady went away. 
One night Gardener and two men accompanied by a boy older 
than myself came to the house. They heaped up a large fire, 
brought up a quantity of port wine on a tray, and sat up all night 
drinking until they were all drunk, including the boy, who became 
very sick. Towards five or six o'clock in the morning the men 
and the boy went away and Gardener went to bed. Shortly 
afterwards a knock came at the door, and he bade me speak out 
of the window to the man and say there was nobody in the 
house except myself, which I did. The man at the door replied 
" that no one would have left a child in a house alone, and that 
what I said was a lie." He persisted, and at length Gardener 
arose and admitted him. He proved to be an officer of some 
kind, and immediately arrested Gardener, leaving me in the house 
alone. The house looked over a dreary waste of level fields — the 
weather was very boisterous, and the banging of the doors and 
roaring of the wind acting upon nerves reduced by bad living 
and a sleepless night nearly destroyed my senses during the 
long day, during which I tasted no food. In the evening, two 



49 

women, formerly servants in the house, came to me. One left 
immediately, the other remained and insisted upon my g"oing- to 
bed. I do not think I slept, and after some hours I heard 
repeated knocking at the door of the house. While I was 
dressing- to go down to the door the remaining woman staggered 
into my room, and fell prone in a complete state of drunkenness. 
I admitted the knocker, who was Major Haswell. I do not know 
what was done, but I was again put to bed, and the next day there 
was a consultation between the Major and a brother of Mr. 
Gardener, evidently about the disposal of my poor little self. It 
was found that my stepfather had removed from his late place of 
residence and could not be found, and it was decided that I should 
be sent to the workhouse. Mrs. Gardener returned to the house 
where she was met by her husband, who appeared in an officer's 
uniform; meanwhile most of the goods in the house were 
removed. During the few days that matters were in this miser- 
able condition, an old woman, formerly a servant in the house, 
seemed to take a great interest in me, and questioned me as to what 
relations I had and where they lived. I happened to remember 
the address of an aunt, to whom she immediately sent, which 
resulted in my mother being informed of the probability of my 
becoming an inmate of the workhouse. She immediately came 
to me, and I shall never forget the sensation of joy at seeing her 
enter the door. So ended the episode, which I give to you as it 
occurred, leaving to your imagination to guess the why and 
wherefore of the whole matter, which has always been beyond 
me entirely. I have left out a thousand little particulars of the 
period, which I will tell you when next we meet over the walnuts 
and the wine — 

Always yours, 

D. S. 

Camden Station, 27M May, 1852. 

The haste, the noise, the aager, the heap of papers, the 
earnest words of command, attendant on the earning of my daily 
bread, have past over somewhat earlier than usual to-day, 
and I turn with refreshing pleasure to the clear page on 



50 

which I have determined to mark a few words, of my 
usual free and easy style, to my dear brother *Reuben. If my 
thoughts could but be daguerreotyped, how often you would 
have a long- epistle. You would have my notions of 
everything I see and hear, and, instead of blowing me up for my 
silence, you would send me a piteous appeal to desist. Strange 
to say, nothing new or remarkable comes within my ken, but 
straight I set it down that I will send you a description of it, and 
then time flies and I never do it, yet I dream the same again, often 
and often. What spell have you cast over me .? Is it my vanity you 
flatter? or is it that I feel certain I may be quite unrestrained to 
you ? that if, in the frolicsome gambols of my mind, the slender 
garment of prudence which it wears, falls on one side and 
reveals some evil beneath, you will not be severe in your criticism. 

2nd June, 1852. — I was called away from the above, as I 
often am when I intend to write to you. 

We have Whitsuntide fair at Chalk Farm. What an awful 
celebration of the coming of the Holy Ghost. The poor ignorant 
slaves of society go through the process of " enjoying themselves" 
on these occasions ; that is, they drink bad beer by the gallon, 
and struggle in crowds to get it from the ' bar, ' as though life and 
death were at stake; they swing in perilous machines till they 
scream with nausea, and think it fine fun when the man wont 
*' stop the ship," and relieve some agonised wretch. They dance 
in close rooms on perhaps six square inches of space, and fight 
on the same extent of ground. Smoke also they do, like funnels. 
Husbands and wives enter freely into these delights, dragging 
their poor little ones through it all. Old women refresh their aged 
bodies in the same way, and forget that they are old : one fell out 
of a swing yesterday and cut her eye out — poor old creature I 
Young men and maidens go into the pleasureable vortex, like mad ; 
and oh, for the maidens ! Many a misery dates its commencement 
from the visit to the fair. Little boys, too — they do enjoy the fair 
— yea, without the beer or the dancing ; they may go to the extent 
of a fight, now and then, but they principally feed on the clowns 
at the shows — that is their weakness. They admire the whitened 
degraded wretch twisting- his body and thrusting out his poor 

*A nick name in allusion to Reuben and Joseph in Scripture 



51 

tong-ue for sixpence a day, and think how hard they will try to 
imitate him when they go home to their dirty miserable domiciles. 
Could you accompany the little ragged fellows to their resting 
places, you would find them going through the performance 
on their beds, or dreaming of the glorious fair in that sleep which 
blesses youth under all circumstances. Could you see them in 
the park the next day you would find them throwing somersaults 
and studying to be clowns. What is the age about, that some 
better object of ambition is not placed before them. Further 
on in life we shall find these boys very bad men, and, as this sort 
of character is much on the increase among us, is it not probable 
that in time they will give the nation a strong tinge of their colour ? 
We are making way for their operations with such propositions as 
universal suffrage, &c. What will be the end of it all ? I wish I 
could be quite sure that I have no responsibility in the matter. I 
am only a poor clerk ; surely it is a small speck of blame that 
will fall to my share when the Nation is judged! * * * 
I dined at the Freemasons' Tavern a short time since, 
along with the Licensed Wittlers. The dinner was hot and 
excellent, and the wine good, — so were the songs. Sir Henry 
Meux made a speech. I sipped my wine, and enjoyed the noisy 
scene. The sight was like some painting I have seen ; some 
Roman or Grecian banquet. If I were learned I would quote 
the subject in Greek or Latin, and tell you the artist's name. 
The room where we dined is very large and handsomely 
decorated, and is capable of accommodating about four 
hundred people. The good feeling and the wine had a 
happy effect on my state of mind, and I dreamed pleasantly of 
the last time I was in that place. The tables for the moment 
disappeared, sweet music filled the air of the ball room, and 
youth and beauty shone at every turn. Merry laughter and 
many twinkling feet kept sweet accord with the pleasing strains 

of music. The figure of L in purple velvet and white fur is 

there, and a pale young 'feller' waltzes by her side. Lovers 
and jealousy are there, too ; little they know how soon death 
will come between them ! — fair forms, how soon to fade ! — pure 
hearts, full of hope, how soon to lose their freshness ! — cloudless 
brows and rosy cheeks, how soon to pale and bear the impress 



52 

of Care's cruel feet ! My dream was disturbed, for here the 
waiter upset a dish over my new coat, and a Licensed Wittier 
blessed his eyes. And now. while I write this, where are the 
waiters and the Wittlers ? That company will never meet the 
same again. Where will they be when next I enter that Hall ? 
Where are the people who met at the Ball? Where? Now 
scattered never to meet again on earth 1 

I4f/i yune, 1852. — I went last evening to what is called a 
Puseyite church. It stands in Munster Square, formerly York 
Square — a place better known than respected. I like the fine 
stained-glass windows, the tasteful gaslights, the ample room 
provided to kneel, the division of the men from the women, the 
soul-elevating music, and the general unanimity of the con- 
gregation in responding; but I don't like the removal of the 
Commandments and Belief from the Communion table, and the 
substitution of a painted veil of gold, with a cross in the middle, 
and a candle burning on each side, for show, and not for light, 
towards which all the devotions appear to be made. I don't like 
this, because I think Christians, aged or youthful, will get 
wrong through the practice. I don't like the universal rising 
when the clergymen and choristers come through an iron gate, 
as though out of a monastery, into the church, in long procession. 
This savours of Popery, and is just getting a little too far in that 
direction, without much being gained in other respects. Davie 
is jealous of too much homage being paid to you parsons, it 
leads both priest and people into error. I miss the prayer for 
God's blessing, in the pulpit, before the sermon, and the prayer 
after it. There is a shade too much bowing also, although I 
should not mind it if it were not done towards the rather gaudy 
communion table at the end of the church, so pointedly. The 
clergyman — Mr. Stuart, I think — preached a sermon on public 
worship, and made a very good case out for the better con- 
ducting of the church services, but he defended nothing to which 
feel an objection. I think I shall enjoy the evening service 
occasionally. 

15/A yune, 1852. — Have you seen the summer anywhere 
down your way ? He hasn't called here this season. Mr. Rains 
absented himself in the early part of the year, for some months, 



53 

sending-, in his stead, a very disagreeable and windy person, 
called East. East came from a cutting- quarter, a keen fellow, 
and a g^reat favourite with the coal trade. He wasn't at all 
popular here, thoug-h; so Rains came down upon us himself, 
about a month since ; and, by jingo, he doesn't appear to be 
going yet. My wife put a lot of " ornaments for yer fire stove " 
in our grate about six weeks since, expecting Summer, knowing 
that that gentleman objected to a fire ; and here we are, sneaking 
into the kitchen, among big pots, black beetles, and crickets, at 

,, every opportunity. 

l|H 26M June^ 1852. — This week 1 have been engaged at a trial 
in the Court of Exchequer. The Achili case was on in the 
* Bench,' but you could not have poked so much as your nose* 
into the place, it was so crowded. 

Did you ever see a Baron of the Exchequer in full costume ? 
The Barons were going about in great state yesterday, and I 
had much difficulty in keeping a serious face. I begin to think 
that they go about for the purpose of making poor witnesses 
laugh, in order to commit them for contempt; the shocking old 
guys being so short of work, now that the County Courts give 
the people cheap law. 

What do you think of the Achili case ? Oh, you parsons 
are terrible fellows I Before the Times issued its late article — 
before, mind! — I arrived at the same conclusion, viz., that the 
exhibition of two christian priests ripping each other up in this 
way is a fine bone for the grinning infidel and the sneering 
scoffer. It strikes me, also, that the Roman Catholics will be 
losers, not only of the trial, but of proselytes. In exposing this 
man, Achili, they have exposed their own system ; and the 
holding up to the light of the awful power of the priests, the 
fearful and uncontrolled establishment of the Inquisition, the 
possible result of sending a daughter to confess to a man vowed 
to celibacy, and all the paraphernalia of the matured but objec- 
tionable system of the Roman Church, will do more to frighten 
the English people away than would even the preaching of a Robert 
Turnbull at St. Paul's Cross ! Talk of High Church ! To hear 
and see all we do of the Romish Church just now, is enough to 
make us turn Ranters, and yet how much the a^es -owe to the 
grand old Church. >^ v^'' ' ' "^ - <>i 



fuHIVBRSITT)) 



54 

Last night a Good's train broke down a tew miles from here. 
It's a strange sight to see a lot of men, and fire and lights, and 
bales, and broken waggons, and clouds of steam, reflecting the 
light like the cloud which led the Israelites, suddenly dropped 
down into the silent country, w^here a few moments before the 
stars shone calmly down on stillness, save when the nightingale 
twittered to its mate or the light wind rippled the quiet stream. 
In the mysterious workings of the awful Providence which 
governs the earth and its inhabitants, how strangely linked 
together are great events and small! matters remote and 
unconnected with us, apparently, often become of urgent 
consequence to us ere long. Could we look into futurity, how 
different would our feelings be! When one of our carpenters 
went to bed last night ; when he supped with his wife and made 
his arrangements for the morrow, and his promises for the 
bright summer days ; when he caressed his little-ones and 
thought of his future age and their manhood; when, let us hope, 
he knelt in prayer for his daily bread, and forgiveness for his 
sins ; could his guardian angel have whispered in his ear that in 
few moments an event would occur miles away which would 
cause his immediate death, that to-morrow for him would be no 
more, that no summer sun would ever shine on his living brow 
again, that he had kissed the sweet lips of his darlings for the 
last time, that his heart, which so lately warmed with love and 
pride and hope for the future, would never kindle with an old 
fathers admiration, that he needed to pray, but oh! not for the 
bread of this life; had these sentences been uttered, think you 
the man would have believed them ? No ! the improbability would 
have exceeded his awe at the fearful prophecy. Yet, when sleep 
reigned in his house a knocking came and summoned him to 
death. The accident near Harrow rendered it necessary to 
forward assistance from Camden, and several of the carpenters 
were called up. One poor fellow missed his footing while 
getting into the train and was killed on the spot. He has left a 
wife and large family. 

28M June, 1852. — At the Puseyite Church yesterday morning 
an alarming sermon from a man with a nasal twang : a few hard 
knocks and a short round ; sinners down — as ihe pugilists have it. 



55 

At the conclusion of the service, before the prayer for the Church 
Militant, a number of gentleman go round with little red velvet 
bags and collect the 'one thing needful,' while the clergyman 
reads the encouraging passages from Scripture appointed for 
the purpose. All very correct and proper ; but the tinkling ot 
the sixpence, the unoccupied air of the congregration, and the 
dropping pauses between the sentences read by the Priest, have 
a strange effect. It is just the time that Mrs. Sloe, the tea-dealer's 
wife, reckons up the new summer toggery of Mrs. Alum, the 
,. baker's wife, — when Julia Languish takes the opportunity of 
|B ascertaining whether that dear fellow with the slight moustache 
is in his place. The proper way, I fancy, is to do what the young 
lady with the gold ' kivered ' prayer book appears to do, namely, 
to kneel in silent prayer; but she throws herself down on the 
hard floor with such force that her knees must suifer : and can 
anyone pray in pain .? 

In the evening to St. James's Chapel, Hampstead Road, Mr. 
Stebbing did not preach, but a young man edified us with a 
beautiful sermon from the sentence, "But thou has kept the good 
wine until now." It was a fervid, comforting, discourse, touching 
the heart with the love and hope of Christianity and showing 
God's ultimate good to his creatures, though here they might be 
visited with sorrow and affliction. It was likely to soften the 
hardened, to win the wavering, and soothe the troubled; and a 
few sound truthful arguments, candidly and entreatingly expressed, 
as from one man to another, completed the effective address. 

29M j^une, 1852. — Eliza and Mrs. Hutton went to Barnet 
yesterday, so I took the opportunity of stealing off to the theatre, 
to see a much talked-of piece called the ''Vampire." There are 
no end of ghosts in it, which caused me to whistle a great deal as 
I came up our dark lane on my way home. I saw a fight in Oxford 
Street, — up and down, hard blows, blood, and curses ground 
between the teeth, a scream, a crowd, and a policeman, as if 
from the bowels of the earth, stood between the combatants, who 
dropped their arms sulkily to the Majesty of the law. One 
drunken non-combatant became strongty pot-valiant when there 
was no fear of a fight being allowed. "Show me," said he, 
"show me a man, and I'll fly into him like a 'hevil genus!' " So 
home to bed. 



56 

I have just been to see Mrs. Walker, the widow of my poor friend 
the Locomotive Manager here, of whom I wrote to you some time 
since. A pretty good collection has been made for her, but with 
her large family it is a small allowance. She will be confined in 
August and add another fatherless child to the number. At best, 
the attention of kind-hearted friends but ill supplies the father's 
place; and the troublesome advice of well meaning persons 
perplexes and mocks the bruised heart. She is a very pure-minded 
and upright woman, and a credit to Auld Scotland. God will not 
desert her. 

I am just about to shut up. Another day has rolled away, 
and, like the waves of the receding tide leaving the beach 
revealed, another multitude of sins, equal in number to the grains 
of sand on the shore, are recorded. Why does the earth remain ? 
Why are men born to destruction ? A breath of His will would 
crumble up the rolling globe, teeming with living things, and 
scatter it into space, as bursts the soap-and-water globule from 
the boy's tobacoo pipe and is no more seen. Incomprehensible 
scheme I how profound are thy mysteries ! how perplexing thy 
revelations ! how immeasurably mighty must be thy Maker, the 
vast and unfathomable God! O puny earth, — yet great and 
inexhaustibly wonderful earth ! And man — how insignificant ! 
Wondering over all, daring to approach even to the Great First 
Cause of all,— ungovernable, restless, — flows the never-dying 
thought. Reasoning, questioning comparing, praying, yet sinning 
— Free Essence ! Eternal Soul ! Beautiful gift of the all-bountiful 
Creator ! Why, oh ! why art thou not ever stainless ? What unseen 
end is accomplished by thy association with corruption and evil ? 
Patience ! It is told us that Eternity will come, and time and sin 
will be no more. Beauty and grace, and pure and holy love will 
be in Heaven. Bright Heaven ! a home of never fading light 
and everlasting happiness, where glory, untainted by ambition or 
death, will shine on all for ever. 

yzily 7M, 1852. — I have been very gay lately. Last week 
we had Mrs. Hutton and two lady friends stopping with us. They 
went to Gravesend one day, and T. L. and I joined them 
in the afternoon. On my journey down I left the "Meteor" 
steamboat about two minutes before she saved the passengers 



57 

from the unfortunate "Duchess of Kent." One of our people 
whom I left on board saw it all, and described the scene as 
awful in the extreme. On Saturday I went to Grays on a visit 
until Monday. My host introduced me to an old lady, the 
proprietress of an inn, her son, and three pretty black-eyed 
daughters. The old woman is quite a character, and tells very 
funny stories of life when she was young, fifty years ago. 

Coming home in the boat on Monday, I talked with some 
soldiers, and was highly edified with a " gent " with moustaches, 
who boasted of the superiority of the travelling arrangements 
on the Continent, and wanted to know ''Wart we were detayned 
foh." He twiddled his hair and showed his ring — an immense 
one — and behaved as became a fop ; and I was enraged to see 
a beautiful fair-haired, rosy, blue-eyed girl evidently admiring 
him, and smoothing her face and furbelows to be admired in 
return. 

To an evening concert, with the girls, at the Beethoven 
rooms. Good music. These entertainments seldom pay, I 
believe. They are usually half-filled with orders, and are mostly 
intended to get up a name for some singer who wants to be 
considered a rising man. Mr. F. B. was the aspirant in 
this case, and we four paid nothing. It is very nice to wear 
white kids and sit with scented folks in a beautiful drawing room, 
to hear sweet sounds from pretty women and well-dressed men. 
1 like to take the scene into my fancy, and believe that all the 
people present are really what they seem — human butterflies — 
whose hands are never soiled, whose faces never frown, whose 
lips are always pure ; and not Alum the baker, and Sloe the 
grocer, and Hookit the swindler, and David the clerk, with their 
•cleaned gloves and greased heads. That the ladies are all 
angelic as they appear, and that no struggle has occurred to get 
>the pretty brooch or the gay ribbon ; but let us spare them ! 
they are so much better than men, that they are angelic 
comparatively. Home late. Felt the appeal to my gallantry 
in my pocket, being the only gentleman with three ladies ; which 
■cabs is expensive. 

Tihjuly, 1852. — This night by the death bedside of poor S. 
He was a strong fine man, with good hope of a long life. We 



58 

liked him for his bass songs and friendly disposition, and forg-ave 
him his prosy stories about his native town, Manchester, which he, 
poor man, considered a model city. Some time ago he had 
lodgings in some house where he picked up a woman and 
married her, and, when too late he discovered her to have been 
a disreputable character. She soon evinced a partiality for 
spirits and pawned his property. He, however, in some measure 
reformed her, and kept her with him. Disgusting to tell, the 
near approach of his death imbued her with a desire to get hold 
of what little money he had, to indulge in her propensity while he 
lay gasping for life on a sick bed. Finally, after a day ot 
drunkenness, she endeavoured to get his watch from beneath his 
pillow; and it so exasperated the dying man that he rushed up 
from the bed and ran after her into the street. With much 
difficulty we got him to bed again, and obtained from her the 
watch and some of his money, which he placed in the custody of a 
neighbour. Assured by the doctor of the impossibility of his 
recovery, I entreated S. to think no more of his earthly 
possessions, and bade him look for pardon and hope where alone 
it can be found, — and may God consecrate the words which were 
offered by my unworthy lips, to the salvation of his soul ! May he 
grant me in my last hour that hope and consolation with which I 
fain would have impressed this poor man ! 

gih July, 1852. — Here's a pretty woman with a baby wants 
me— very ominous — with a sweet smile too. Bless me! It was 
Mrs. P. Now Mrs. P. is the wife of Mr. P., a young clerk, a 
gentlemanly young man, with few influential friends. He lost his 
situation some three months ago and has been pinched very hard, 
by ^' short commons." He told Mr. Mills, in confidence, that ai 
porter's place would be acceptable, if it were in the country, out 
of sight of those who had seen him better off. Poor fellow ! So 
we have managed to put him on as office porter at Watford, and 
he and she are so overjoyed and so thankful, and think us so good 
to grant them a pass and to free their goods— scanty sticks, poor 
dears— as if it cost me or Mr. Mills anything. It is pleasant; no, 
altogether it is not a pleasant thing to receive undeserved 
gratitude. One feels somehow an impostor; and yet it is a. 
comfort to behold new-found happiness. 



59 

When in Oxford Street yesterday evening-, one of our people 
and I were boyish enough to go into a show to see a wonderful 
lady with a beard and whiskers. She introduced herself politely 
as a native of Geneva, twenty-one years of age. Her neck was 
white, and unmistakably a woman's, but her face looked about 
thirty-five years old. Hair grew round her cheeks and chin, and 
some ladies present pulled it; it was evidently genuine. She wore 
a gold watch and a black satin dress, and a wonderful head-dress 
of diamonds (?) "Laydes and gent'men," said she, "I em vaisey 
mush oblige. My bebby is at de door." The baby at the door 
was a beauty, but I don't believe in //. 

iQthJuly, 1852. — Here's a letter come requesting me to state 
the condition of Mr. Jack L's. health, and whether I think he is 
eligible for assurance, and begging me to unfold my inmost 
opinion, in confidence, to the Secretary of the concern . Well, what 
shall I say ? Jack is a strong fellow ; he can eat — rather! he can 
jump or run, and on a pinch could ram his head through a cheese 
or a grindstone. Yes, Mr. Secretary, unless you are a very strong 
man, Jack will see us both out, sir ; we shall be down in the dust 
and evaporated, before Jack gives up. Lor, Sir Sec ! you and I 
may help to eke out old Jack at last. He may smell us or eat us, 
through some of nature's strange transfers, and get us into his 
blood somehow ; and who knows whether that won't set him 
a- thinking of us — dead and gone — and soften him ; for somewhere 
about him there are tears and soft feelings, although he's rough 
now — very ; and so we may do something for him, dead, though we 
do nothing for anybody living. And believe me, brother quill- 
driver, our doings for Jack, or anyone else, here, are as much a 
mystery, and the work of the Great Governor, as the silly conceit 
I have just uttered about our probable doings hereafter. 

\2th July, 1852. — Emily and Eliza and I went to the Marion- 
ette Theatre on Saturday evening. The Adelaide Gallery 
forms a pretty little house ; but oh, for poor Punch and Judy, 
whom the Police Act endeavoured to annihilate ! They are 
infinitely superior to this affair. The marionette puppets have 
dreadful convulsions, especially when they walk, and the 
audience continually make mistakes as to the person speaking. 
The voices behind the scenes are out of proportion. One curious 



60 

effect I observed. After looking- at the performance an hour or 
two the eye becomes unable to form an estimate of the real size 
of the figures. The scenes, tables, chairs, decorations, etc., 
being all, in proportion, there is no difficulty in imagining the 
things as large as life, and people go away with different 
notions of the height and size of them. Emily thinks they were 
nearly as large as life. Eliza says they were about the height 
of a girl twelve years old. Mrs. Livock and John, who have 
been to see them, say about half the size of life ; and I myself 
am confident they do not exceed two feet. This may seem stupid, 
but it is true. 

To church at St. Mark's; Mr. Galloway not back yet. I 
understand he has lost his wife, and is gone for change to the 
seaside. An appeal is made to defray the expenses of doing the 
work while he is away. I would put down my little mite cheer- 
fully, but I rather object to this call. What is the use of 
episcopacy if it cannot meet an occasion like this ? Why cannot 
a few reserve men be kept by the richly paid bishop ? Not that 
I wish to speak disrespectfully of the bishop, or of any of my 
pastors and masters, but I do protest against the reservation of 
so much wealth in the higher walks of the pasture, while down 
among the flocks, where the work is to be done, the shepherds 
are only kept just above starvation-point, and the flocks are often 
prematurely fleeced to obtain that. 

\-i^th July, 1852. — Last evening Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson 
gave, a select soiree at their mansion in Regent's Park Road. 
The aristocracy present were the right fat and podgy Mrs. H., 
the long Mr. M., and the elegant and accomplished Miss M., the 
thin Mr. R. M., and the pretty Miss H., of Hampstead. Singing 
was kept up to a late hour, when a recherche supper was served, 
in Betsy's best style, on the two parlour tables shoved together. 
The amiable Mr. H. attended in his spectacles, and performed 
Lucy Neal, with variations, on the violin. The last reveller from 
Chalk Farm Tavern was turned out by the landlord, as the party 
emerged from Montrose House amid the music of much laughter 
and many shakings of hands. There is no truth in the report that 
Mr. M. kissed Miss M. while they were looking for Miss M.'s 
pardsol in the passage, although it is generally considered that the 



61 

worthy host acted very improperly in carrying- away the light at 
the precise juncture, particularly as the young- couple will be 
married in February next, and ought not to require kissing- at all, 
considering what a lot of that sort of thing they will have to 
undergo then. 

I have been to Eliza's doctor in Finsbury Square to 
ascertain the real state of her health. He says the air we live in 
is impure. I think he is a humbug. He has ordered Eliza to 
Ramsgate immediately, and says she will soon be well there. The 
doctor told me I looked as though I lived in bad air, and that I 
confirmed his previous notion. He added, however, that I had 
a strong constitution. 

What an awful place is the waiting-room of a physician ! 
One cannot help feeling that every person there has some 
dreadfully bad place under his or her clothes. Wounds and 
sores appear to surround one, and a little imagination would 
make you sure that the apartment smelt of disease. I fancy the 
feeling is something akin to that of those who " passed by on 
the other side," in the case of the man who fell among thieves. 
No doubt the lady who stared at me was wondering what I had 
the matter with me — ^whereabouts the bandages were, and 
whether it was the result of accident, of hereditary disorder, or 
of personal neglect. I was glad when the man in plush responded 
to my silver key and showed me in to the medical man. Plush 
thinks himself half way towards being a doctor; he speaks of 
''our patients," "our fees," ''our busiest time," in the worst 
English, it is true, but with the tone of a man convinced that he 
has had a hand in the cures ; and, in many cases, I believe the 
grammar is the only difference between Jeames and his master. 

i^thjuly, 1852. — One of our teams killed a poor little child, 
about eight years of age, yesterday. It died on the spot ; and 
so an angel went up to Heaven leaving its mantel of griel 
hanging heavily on its parents. 

Sauntering from dinner just now I paused where two houses 
are being built, when the foreman and an English labourer had 
a few words, more emphatic than elegant. A paddy from the 
opposite job, sung out " Don't swear," which injured the dignity 
of the brave Englishman, and he forthwith walled across and 



62 

fetched Paddy a punch on the nose; but the fall he got 
immediately must have relieved him of a little wind. Up he rose 
and again assailed the Irishman, immersing the Emerald Isle 
in deluges of sanguinary expressions. Englishmen always do 
thrown poor Pat's country in his face in a quarrel. Again the 
bold Englisher went down a ''buster " ; when a little man with a 
bullet head — I hope he wasn't an Englishman — came behind 
Paddy and smote him a dig in the ear that would have polished 
off such a man as your friend Davey entirely. This w^as the 
signal for a general scrimmage "Hooroo, ye devils " was heard 
on all sides. As I w'as the only impartial person present I 
sheered off to a deferential distance, and in about a quarter of 
an hour the storm subsided, save now and then the distant 
thunder of the original Englishman's voice, dying away in dis- 
contented grumbles. 

By the way if you don't send me a good long letter after 
this I shall think I am boring you. Can't you tell me, my 
patriotic parson, how the country is going on — whether, because 
Snooks, or Leatherlungs, or Freebread is " in," the country 
will topple down to destruction, or because Steadycourse and 
Scornpraise are left out, no one can be found to govern 
the country? "Lor, Sir!" you should tell me; for I get 
bewildered between the arguments and protestations — the 
patriotism, the ambition, the jaw, the claptrap, and the deceit 
of politics. One thing often strikes me, and that is, that with 
nations, as with children, they may have good governors, or bad, 
from whom they may imbibe a something, one way or the other, 
but the bulk of the result will be found to be in their own nature. 
They are for the most part born what they will be, in spite of 
the straws which stand in the way. 

\^thjuly\ 1852. — Talked to a sort of running porter, who 
gets his living by finding ' busses ' for passengers, opposite the 
Mansion House. '' Such a living as it is," said he, — adding *' but I 
could yarn more, yellowmen, if it warnt for my ' sperit.' I hev 
got sich a sperit. Now, if you hadn't answered to my satis- 
faction, no more you'd a had out o' me. I never axes twice — I 
can't — it goes agen me summuz. Now, there's that cove over 



there— t'other side o' the way, — there's him, as is at it now. He 
makes a tidy thing of it— five or six bob a night. He reglar 
insults people. I hate sich mean ways. Here's a Ampstead 
bus, sir, — thankee, sir — good night, sir, and thankee for me." 

i^thjuly, 1852. Detained at Bayswater for several hours 
by a most awful storm, — such blue grinning lightning and such 
bursting clattering thunder! 

igthjuly, 1852. — I went to Southall on Saturday night, on 
a visit to a very delightful family. Mr. G. is surveyor of the 
roads under the Metropolitan Commissioners. He has a nice 
house, keeps two horses, a four-wheel and a gig, and has 
a splendid garden, full of glorious flowers and fruit, with fountains 
and nooks and arbours, — a large farm-yard, a field, and a 
piece of ground for wurzel and other stuff" for two cows, all 
laid out in good order, so that you may stroll about and enjoy 
yourself for hours. There are several boys, from eight to 
eighteen years old, and two daughters, one twelve and the other 
twenty ; and they are the most amiable and loving young folks 
that I have seen for many a day. The boys wait on the girls like 
gallants, and on their mother, whose every wish is anticipated. 
She is an amiable woman and has been a beauty. A few years 
ago she lost one of her legs by an accident and she wears a cork 
one, and the tenderness that has grown out of that sorrow is 
beautiful to see. Thus good continually arises out of evil, — 
adversity and affliction purify the soul. The old gentleman is so 
hospitable. He makes his visitors eat and drink, routs them out 
of bed in the morning, and shows in a thousand ways his great 
kind heart. 

We heard an excellent sermon from the incumbent ot 
Norwood Green Church. I felt much of the discourse as applic- 
able to myself, and made some solemn resolutions; but if you 
only knew what a weak man I am, how prone to evil, how 
yielding and unenergetic, you would pity me. I sometimes long 
for one hour of sincere repentance and belief in the saving atone- 
ment of our blessed Redeemer, and then to quit this world of 
temptation for ever. For who would live but that it is the will of 
Him who will dispose of us hereafter .? May He grant me grace 
to keep me in the right path, to resist evil and myself, (who am 



64 

full of evil,) and take me into His Kingdom, in His own time, 
when this fight, so inglorious to me hitherto, shall cease. 

26th July, 1852. — On Saturday evening I went to Harrow 
to reconnoitre for a house, as I intend, in the course of a year 
or two (D.V.), to remove thither, in order that James shall be 
qualified for admittance into the Harrow School, and also for the 
sake of Eliza's health. There is plenty of ground marked out 
for building, and it is a fine place. Such a magnificent view 
from the churchyard. "Ah! " said the sexton to me, ''There's 
where old Byron had his tea-things many a brave day," pointing 
to some unfortunate person's tombstone, which has been chipped 
almost all away by the enthusiastic Britishers and Yankees, 
because Lord Byron used to recline upon it and contemplate the 
view of the country. The poor sexton walked away in disgust 
when he found I had no inclination to listen to his story nor to 
fork out sixpence. 

28M July, 1852. — Last night amongst a lot of cricketing 
gentlemen, who are mad for bats and belts and leggings and 
flannel jackets, to the great profit and satisfaction of 
Mr. C, who teaches them to play and supplies their little 
requirements. He is a tanned shady-faced man, with white 
whiskers and a nose which appears to have had the gristle taken 
out for the convenience of cricketing, and he evidently considers 
cricket to be as important a subject of discourse as free trade or 
the Protestant cause. He talks solemnly about it, as though 
there were more in it than the world could be prevailed upon 
to believe. C. harangued the club last night and strongly 
recommended the social glass as a good thing to " keep your 
men together." The good man strengthened his precept by an 
energetic practice, and although he profoundly announced 
several times that he had had his •' dose," yet he yielded to 
his inclination and suffered himself to be persuaded into another 
glass. What a terrible thing that drink is! If intoxicating 
liquors could be utterly abolished what a happiness it would be 
to the world ! 

19M October, 1852. — When shall I cease to tell you that we 
are very busy .^ When? Ah! when.? Will no one leave me a 
fortune ? Shall I always ply the pen to keep my wife and picca- 



65 

ninnies? I suppose so ; and a good dispensation too, I feel sure. 
vSo my hand must shake, and my noddle tremble, and shuffling- 
limbs support my bended back and silvered head before I ran 
tell you that I am released from toil. Well, we are busy this 
time. The gold-diggers have found the treasure and raised their 
voices to such a tune that the mighty sound rings through all the 
workshops of old England. The wax, and the thread, and the 
leather combined into boots and shoes by the bootmakers of 
Northampton come up in tons daily, to be shipped; thousands 
of tons of cotton goods from the clicking, snorting factories of 
Lancashire pour through our sheds (to be shipped) ; Sheffield 
cutlery comes from Birmingham, in bewildering quantities, to 
be shipped ; Staffordshire crates, Coventry ribbons and watches, 
Worcestershire carpets, canvas and linen from Scotland, and 
woollen bales from Yorkshire teem into the station to be tumbled 
out and shipped; while the salt provisions, biscuits, wines and 
spirits for the voyages are astounding. Then, to keep the pot 
boiling (down), we are obliged to hurry hides to be tanned, 
and no end of other stuff to tan them, and the bark off 
all the trees in England, I am sure, to help. Square bales ot 
foreign wool are hauled from the dark holds of ships and bundled 
into Yorkshire ; stag horns, elephants' tusks, flax, ironstone, 
oil, to be manufactured ; and tea, sugar, wine, beer, fish, flour, 
corn, tons on tons, to feed the manufacturers; with guano 
to grow their vegetables, and bonnets, perfumery, pianos, furni- 
ture, and toys for their wives and families. And all this besides 
the meat and potatoes in hundreds of tons weekly, and nine 
thousand head of animals to feed the cockneys who keep the 
account of all these mighty movings, with six hundred thousand 
tons of coal to help to light the fires to cook the grub. Oh, 
dear me! Silk (raw) to Macclesfield, and manufactured silk up 
from the same ; lace from Nottingham ; glue, grindstones, gum, 
gun-barrels, bottles, anchors, and American clocks, gutta 
percha, ice and iron bedsteads, grease, grates, blacking bottles, 
garden seats, machinery, bobbins, needles in awfully heavy little 
packages, bees wax, blankets from Witney, cables and clogs, 
butter and buttons, pitch and pumice-stone, cannon balls, reaping 
hooks, and soldiers' clothing. Then it is the heaviest hop season 



66 

' ever knowh, and the tig-htly stuffed pockets are rolling- in upon 
us unrelentingly, until pile on pile is stacked up to wait for 
wag^g-ons and tarpaulins, which cannot be obtained for them in 
consequence of the unprecedented increase of our trade. 

2ird October, 1852. — Crowded, and crammed, and jammed, 
here we are again this morning", and the rain coming" down like 
a water-spout, and a coal engine has just run into the 
broadside of the down mail, sending the lot to smithereens and 
blocking our line, so that the goods train can't go out. Nobody 
hurt but the driver. If you could only see the debris, you'd say 
it was a miracle. 

27/^ October, 1852. — Swift has just been asking us to meet J. 
at his house and make it up ; and so we go on unto our lives' 
end, as thousands have gone on before us. What a breadth and 
importance we attach to our own little span ! How we smile and 
philosophise over the lives of those who have preceded us ! "All 
the world's a stage," — but all the men and women are very fond 
of thinking themselves the audience. 

2^th October, 1 85 2. — What clever writers are bursting into 
print with letters to the Times ! One sapient individual proves 
even too much. He first says that the Companies have long 
known that one accident costs more than the expenses of an 
efficient staff for a year, and then adds that, for the sake of 
economy, the Companies prefer an occasional accident to keeping 
an efficient staff, because it costs less. Wonderful man ! The 
fact of the matter is, that the prosperity of the country has so 
suddenly and so vastly increased, that the railways cannot 
sufficiently expand to receive it. They had scarcely recovered 
from the Exhibition inundation when this flood of unexpected 
traffic came upon them. The people, by their representatives, 
forced the railways into the lowest possible fares and rates, by 
allowing competition ; and, unless they forfeited their dividends, 
it would be impossible for the Companies to keep a large reserve 
of plant and trained officers to meet such an unprecedented 
influx of traffic as the present. They did keep every department 
full-handed before other lines were allowed to go into their 
districts in violation of their vested rights. As far as the road is 
concerned, our one railway is ample for the traffic of all the 



67 

districts it covers. It is the spare engines and experienced hands 
of which we are deficient, and these time only can enable the 
abused but anxious directors to supply. Some grocer who mixes 
red lead with his cayenne, and takes an apprentice, whose 
marrow and bones he uses up for seven years without a penny 
payment, and commits daily other tricks of trade, having- more 
ink than brains, and a cacotthes scribendi, humanely suggests the 
mulcting the poor station clerks, or the forcing a director to ride 
on the frame of each engine. Witty and intelligent person ! 
If by his adulterations, which, poor man, he would say the 
competition in trade obliged him to practice against his 
conscience, he could scrape together sufficient to become a 
railway director, he would change his tune to that of the grind- 
ing, cheese-paring, penny-wise and pound-foolish description of 
man who now and then gets upon the Board, but whose illiberal 
policy is mostly kept under by the better sense of the other 
directors. There! having disgorged my bile, I'll go to dinner. 

\6th November, 1852. — Not a word to you for ten days. Weill 
floods and things have so '' served us out " that really one has 
felt like Job. No sooner has one bespattered guard told his tale 
of disaster by flood and field, than another man rushes up to 
announce another stoppage. Kensington under four feet of 
water ; West London line damaged ; Bedford branch flooded 
and impassable ; Poplar station submerged ; Peterborough 
branch blocked by the surging waters ; Oxford branch tunnel 
fallen in ; and Kilsby main-line tunnel queer. Midland viaduct 
washed away, and a bridge on the Trent Valley line ditto. 
Rugby and Stamford line underwater. South Staffordshire branch 
also swamped, with a multitude of minor mischances. Our 
neighbours, too, have been as badly visited. The Great Western, 
Great Northern, and Eastern Counties, have all been more or 
less shut up by the rolling waters. Can you tell your poor 
lay brother-clerk what it all means ? Is the clerk of the weather 
selling his rain off at a ruinous sacrifice? or are the elements 
weeping for the death of England's hero ? If the latter they 
have the water laid on from the main, as Sam Weller says. 

26//^ November^ 1852. — Two hundred and thirty loads of cattle 
and goods came into this station within three-quarters of an hour 

D 2 



on Saturday nig-ht, — such a job! Talk of managing- people, or 
anything else, in moving masses ! What use would the great 
Duke have been at Camden ? We delayed the express, and the 
passengers enunciated their opinions of us. Who cares? Let'em 
get out and do it themselves — that's all. One of the passengers 
told me a joke, by way of relief. When they arrived at Leighton 
the porter sang out, as usual, " Lay-tun ! Lay-tun ! " which a 
young fellow, afflicted with wit, said was exasperating in the 
extreme, considering that it was enough to know that the train 
was a ** late'un," without the fact being bawled into their ears by 
a porter hired and liveried for the purpose. 

yth December, 1852. — I am taking a dip now and then into 

those beautiful lays of the Scottish Cavaliers, and I am on those 

occasions carried up above the present altogether. I soar above 

Camden Station, and dream in that lovely cloudland of romance. 

******* 

How about your income tax of fivepence-farthing in the 
pound ? What do you now think of Dizzy .? Some of our men 
are emigrating; and who would not do so in their circumstances .'^ 
The hundred pound per annum men are the strength and sinews 
ot the mercantile world. They are also just the men who will 
emigrate and do well. There never was a more unwise measure 
than to put such a heavy tax on to poor struggling chaps with 
few comforts and many children. I rub against these men (I 
have been one of them single, and I may be one of them married 
some day, — I don't deserve to be so well off" as many of them), 
and I know what they have to bear in a place like London, and 
how well they bear it ; hoping for ever, and being careful of 
their duty, and their clothes, and their " kids," in the meanwhile. 
It is wrong to take these poor fellows' pence. It is an effectual 
plan to prevent the children getting education, and the ability to 
see how their rulers are exempted from paying legacy duty, &c. 

gth December, 1852. — I have just been at the Cattle Show, on 
business. I am happy to say that all my important trains of 
cattle are in for to-day. Whether I shall get over the next three 
heavy days, without delaying the passenger trains and incurring 
discredit, I cannot tell. It is a lottery. Our place is small, and 
the overwhelming trains of goods and cattle come pouring in. 



^9 

One needs a voice of thunder, and wings, so as to be at all 
points in a little time. 

2 is/ Decefuher, 1852. — Here is one of my men who has taken 
his time-piece, on the sly, to the maker's, who contracts for 
repairs. It is completely smashed. On taking" a glance at the 
chap's proboscis, I perceive that he has had a whack on that 
instrument; and on calling up my memory, I do bethink me 
that I saw his lordship come out of a public-house early one 
morning last week. Now, he says that he had only been in for 
half-a-pint of beer, as a great exception ; that the train started 
suddenly, and hurled him against the iron rail of his break, and 
that at another time a bit of iron flew up and cut his nose. What 
are you to do in such a case ? Let him go, I suppose, and 
tell him to look out; pull a grave face, and bid him think of 
his family, and not fall into evil habits; all of which he meets 
by strong assertions that he has long seen the necessity of a 
virtuous career, and that that is why he has become such an 
exemplary character, the admiration of all his acquaintances, 
<S:c., &c. 

227td December, 1 852. — The note of preparation sounds for 
Christmas. Special trains are harnessing to convey wandering 
sons to the fireside of old home, to carry the eye and heart from 
the eager pursuit of gain and distinction back to that dear place 
where the prayer was first learned and the precept given, there 
to note with tenderness the signs of increasing years in the 
devoted parent, the kindling manhood of the brother, and the 
beauty of the young sister. Steam, too, is preparing in the big 
engine to bring in the long Parliamentary train filled with 
hard-working toilers. They each arrive with a small bundle of 
presents for their friends ; and when they get out of the train and 
meet Jack or Tom they shake hands, — and there's no mistake 
about the squeeze. The bewildering mass of turkeys, hares, 
geese, parcels of perishables, &c., which pour out of every 
incoming train is truly distracting. Clerks have to sit up all 
night and all day, with bread and beef in one hand, to keep up 
the steam, and the pen in the other, recording these substantial 
tokens of the love there is in the world. Turn 'em out, — here 
you are, — and there's more a-coming,— call 'em over, — here's no 



70 

direction, — never mind, — shove him in, — what's that? — never 
mind, — pick up some direction, — stick it on, — fire away 1 

yth January, 1853. — A bullock ran off a cattle platform last 
night and jumped on to the main line. He trotted majestically 
into the tunnel, where he received a poke in the ribs from a 
playful passenger engine coming up. On he went, however, for 
about four miles, leaving four of our men panting after him far 
behind, and everybody here in a state of alarm about the final 
result. At length up came the news. The Tring train had cut 
the animal "to ribbons," as my foreman said. The heart was 
found fifty yards from the rest of the body. The whole train 
went over him, but only the engine and break-van were thrown 
off, and no one was hurt. 

nth January, 1853. — Poor, weak, silly J. E., with ill health, 
a nervous disposition, a poor old father and mother who loved 
him, respectable friends, and a confiding master and patron, 
collected all the Company's money (about £1,000) at his station 

at , took a ticket for Tring, but came on to London last 

Tuesday week, by the morning mail, paid the difference of fare, 
and then, as the political economists say, became absorbed in the 
population. Up to the present we have failed to find him, 
although I took a detective and rushed down the line, searched 
his lodgings, questioned his landlady (who said she had a disease 
of the heart and couldn't stand it), and put him in the Hue and Cry, 

On Sunday I went to hear Dr. Pusey preach. A good 
practical sermon upon our besetting sins, and it might have been 
all copied from Bishop Taylor's "Holy Living." Dr. Pusey 
looks rather miserable. His hair wants combing, and his 
whiskers are a dirty colour, and, being scanty, have a mangey 
appearance. His forehead is high, but looks higher because of a 
slight baldness. His neck-cloth is low and he wears no collar. 
His nose is well-shaped and large, and his eye rather bleared — 
which may be from age. He appears between fifty and sixty. 
You can hear his voice well, but it is hard in quality, and he gives 
his jaw a twitch when he speaks, which is not pleasant to see. 

Last night we all went to Saddler's Wells. Saw Phelps 
in Henry the Fifth. A good play is a great enjoyment. The 
pantomime was very good. I should think the wonderful fellows 



71 

who tumble so extraordinarily, as though they had gutta-percha 
spines, must have devoted the whole of their existence to their 
" profession/' and may, consequently, be unable to read or write 
or do anything else. 

14M January, 1 85 3. — Allow me to tell you that we have 
been cultivating a very peculiar breed of pig for some time past. 
In fact, I may say he's more peculiar than profitable ; for although 
we have fed him with all those inviting washes in which pigs 
delight, consisting of the " bilings " of all the Christmas good 
things, with pollard and barley-meal, and many other luxuries, 
the creature disdains to get fat. He maintains the most delicate 
proportions in spite of all our efforts ; and although I love the 
beautiful, still I like it to pay; but this pig practically uses 
Pistol's reply, " Base is the slave who pays " ! — and so no pork 
have we ! 

20th yanuary, 1 853. — R. went to Sadler's Wells with us as 
gay as a lark. He was a cheerful fellow, kind-hearted, but 
rather extravagant. He had a nice home, seven fine children, 
from eighteen years old downward (for he married very young), 
and good prospects, while his ^^300 per annum as Station Master 

in the goods department of station enabled him to live 

comfortably in the meantime. Last week he had £416 to pay 
the men, and when he returned to the office after dinner he found 
a leaden key broken in the lock of the safe and the money gone 
He closed the station gates instantly and had every person 

searched, but without effect. Mr. , the General Manager, 

then sent for the lock-maker, Chubb, who pronounced it impos- 
sible to open one of his locks with a pewter key, and so they 
suspended R., who took the accusation to heart and ran away. 
His wife in a day or so received a lock of his hair and some 
affecting words of farewell, not expressly saying that he intended 

suicide, but that Mr. 's conduct was too much to bear and 

he should never behold her again. Meanwhile the Guarantee 
Society took possession of the house and furniture. The police 
seized all the private letters and papers, and £10, leaving the poor 
woman with five-and-sixpence and all her overwhelming trouble. 
So perhaps he is innocent and distracted, or perhaps guilty and 
•cunning. He is excitable enough to be half mad under the former 



72 

circumstances, and talented enoug-h to complete a robbery of the 
sort dexterously. 

i^th January, 1853. — I am glad the journal amuses you. I 
find it pleasant to jot down a few thoughts and occurrences at the 
close of the day's work. It is agreeable now and then, too, to 
drag out the inner man and give him a little fresh air and paper. 
At best he's a secret, reserved, moody, wicked fellow, hiding him- 
self in the recesses of the heart, where he for the most part 
dwells, and brooding over evil thoughts; sometimes sinful and 
rebellious — coveting, envying, hating ; and yet inconsistent — for 
he sometimes lies prostrate in sorrow for error — repents and 
prays and vows ; and sometimes, too, the recollection of his own 
weaknesses fills him with tenderness towards his fallen fellow- 
creatures, and for the poor and less richly blessed than he. These 
are, however, but the visits of angels to his solitude and are 
" few and far between." For the most part impatience and anger 
and pride prevail ; and I say, therefore, O my friend ! it does him 
much good to look in upon him occasionally and record a few ot 
his aspirations. So when he gazes on the written realised thought 
his aspect brightens and he casts the good thought on the waters 
of his memory, and after many days it may return to him and 
stay the angry word or the harsh judgment. 

27/A January, 185 3. — So you are grumbling because you 
don't make Whitchurch the most Christian parish in the kingdom!; 
You don't know what is going on under the dark surface. The 
grain has been cast in, and the harvest-time may come when 
you are far away. The floods may wash away, or rot some of 
it, but surely all will not be lost. The green blade may not arise 
in the soul until the last moments of life, and then may have 
such a ray of heavenly sunshine poured down upon it that in aa 
hour the ripened ear may appear to view, before the Christian 
sighs away existence. Certainly no words of exhortation earnestly 
and prayerfully poured out to a congregation can be entirely lost. 
Some heart must be touched, some conscience moved — it may be 
to fall asleep again ; but two or three such knocks must awake 
the sleeper. 

Now what is to be done with a package consigned to- 



73 

"Young-," "till called for"? because, althoug-hit is entered as 

" Glass, with care," an enterprising- checking--clerk has discovered, 
througfh a crevice, that it contains the body of some individual de- 
ceased. It came here very early yesterday morning-, and *' Young" " 
don't seem to care about coming for the glass up to this juncture, 
8 p.m. After 3 a.m., when the trains are most of them gone, 
and the gas is turned down a little, you won't find many clerks 
or porters in the large dark shed, in the particular corner where 
the case of glass stands. *' Don't stand it on end," said one of 
the men, when they found out the contents ; " perhaps you've got 
the poor fellow legs up'ards.' 

I'^th January, 1853. — Young came for his case of glass this 
morning. 

Beck, a poor porter in Chaplin & Home's employ, wanted me 
to pass a boy down to Wolverton, our Locomotive Establishment. 
His boy he called him, and he was going to learn to be a 
mechanic. By a mere accident I learnt to-night that the boy is 
a very intelligent lad, and has received an excellent education at 
the hands of porter Beck with his eighteen shillings per week ; 
that he is not Beck's boy, but that the boy's father was killed on 
the Chester and Holyhead line, and Beck "had compassion " on 
him, and when he lost his father took him away and brought him 
up. " For as much as ye have done it, &c." Beck! glory may 
shine on the great here, but a glory awaits thee hereafter. Let 
us look to it. Let me take home a big boy, bear with his tempers, 
check his propensities, patiently teach him, save him from the 
reproaches of my wife and children in moments of thoughtlessness 
(and my wife should be more thoughtful than good Beck's wife), 
in short, take the heavy charge of him up to fourteen years of 
age. I'm ashamed to say I should refuse to do it, or if I did 
it, I should make my sins a multitude that the charity might cover 
them. Oh, philosopher ! Cast thy pen away ! Give up reflection ! 
Turn from all the speculations on thy progress, and humbly 
imitate the poor man who, without education or any advantage 
but his eighteen shillings per week, performs an immortal good ! 

31J/ January, 1853. — I ^^^^e had a long ride on the engine 
and am tired. You never went through a tunnel on an engine ? 
I don't know anything more awful; although one gets so 



'74 

accustomed to it that it does not create any exclamation. 
Imag-ine the most utter darkness — a mig-hty roar beneath a 
vaulted roof, made by the steam, the machinery, and the action 
of twenty or thirty tons weight of iron rattling- along- at thirty 
miles an hour over iron rails, every joint of the rails giving- out 
a loud sound — and then the convulsive vibration of the plate on 
which you stand and the rail you hold. You feel alone in the 
deep g-loom, but yet feel that two men stand somewhere near 
you, and you know that all are impressed with the thought that 
the crack of a wheel, the fracture of a spring, a stone on the 
line, a loose rail, or any irregularity, would send all the iron and 
wood and flesh and blood and bones and fire into one wrecked 
heap in that dreadful place. Nothing gives me the feeling that 
we are helplessly in the hands of the Almighty so much as riding 
on an engine through a long tunnel. It is, however, pretty to 
see the light of the sun appear at the approaching end, — first a 
speck, then larger, until a small theatre is unfolded, with a 
natural landscape for a scene. 

1st February, 1 85 3. — We have been in a cloud here all 
day,, — a cold, choking, dismal, dense fog. Our detonating 
signals, which explode like artillery when the waggons pass over 
them, have been booming on the station as though we were on a 
field of battle, and I don't know whether the place is not as 
dangerous as one, for we can't see ten yards, and engines and 
trains are flitting about in all directions, while the fog signals 
almost make one jump out of one's skin and into the way of 
danger. I have felt inclined to send messages about the station, 
instead of going myself. I cannot express too much admiration 
of the rules of war which instruct a wise general to keep himself 
out of danger ! But the fog gets everywhere. In the open 
station there" s an eternity of it. In the dark passage in our 
ofiice you can smell it. It is in the gas-lighted room, in your hat, 
up your trousers' legs, and it evidently makes an attempt to get 
into the fire, which looks bright with indignation in consequence. 
Well ! I want my tea, and I think I've said enough of the fog, 
which is a disgusting vapour made by the witches for the especial 
torment of railway officials. 

2isi February, 1853. — To-morrow the inquest sits on the 



75 

bodies of two of our coal porters who have been killed in the 
tunnel. The poor fellows had lain down, as is usual when two 
trains pass any pedestrian on the line in different directions, but 
instead of taking the six-feet width between the rails they took the 
up-line, and the low fire-box of the engine gave them no chance. 
One poor man was found mixed up with the machinery and 
frightfully mangled. He leaves a wife and five children. One 
of my best men has, also, crushed a finger between the buffers; 
and what with sickness and the frost, we are in a terrible pickle. 

It is a strange thing that accidents and injuries frequently 
pursue one man or one family. One of the poor creatures 
killed in the tunnel turned the points wrong about three months 
ago, and made a great mess of it. Backer, a porter at Euston, 
was knocked and squeezed, and immediately after his return 
from the hospital, cured of the effects of a crush between the 
buffers, his arm was smashed between two carriages. He 
learned to write with his left hand afterwards very well. Old 
Woodgate, a porter here, was hurt three or more times at this 
station, and finally killed, while his son lost his arm a very little 
time after. Inspector Watts was cut to pieces by a train, and 
three months afterwards his son lost his ear and right arm, and 
was nearly killed at this place. I suppose you will say it is the 
effect of certain circumstances which occur in a machine like a 
railway, precisely or nearly similar, acting on a peculiar sort of 
mind, which is the same in father and son, and that the conduct 
of the sufferers precipitates the catastrophe. 

24/h, February, 1853. — Another death in the tunnel to-day — 
a pig this time. The poor porker, strong in his own opinion, 
dodged and dipped and escaped through the legs of the drovers 
and men on the cattle platform, who used some pointed and 
forcible arguments to induce him to alter his course ; but he 
obstinately pursued his own line of policy; and while, in all 
probability, he was congratulating himself on the distance 
between him and his pursuers, an engine cut him in half. 

wth March, 1853. — I went to the Great Western a few 
evenings ago and missed my train. Having an hour to wait 
I smoked a cigar and endeavoured to find out something 
to amuse me; and I fell in with an old face — a grey, stout. 



76 

very civil, meek old man, by name Tom Calvert. Honest 
Tom Calvert I have seen BelVs Life call him. But Tom was 
a rogue and a hyprocrite. He bought old iron of our 
stores department some ten years ago, kept a trotting mare, 
drove a large business as a fish and fruit dealer, and was 
well to do. His inclinations were sporting rather, and he had 
been a fighting man in his youth. He knew all the " fancy " and 
I think a few of the thieves about town. He bribed three or 
four of our people — G. C. who has compounded with his creditors 
and finally bolted, a defaulter, from his new employers; T. L., a 
clever fellow, who loved brandy-and- water, and who, from two 
or three excellent situations, has come down to be a journeyman 
painter ; W., a decent man, who subsequently lost his berth, and 
now holds the situation of potman at a public-house ; and M., 
a porter, who put his gains in the bank and is now a policeman. 
These men used to make Calvert's bargains worth his money. 
They delivered to him (for one trick) three or four tons of old 
iron, when he only paid for one ton. Worthy Tom Calvert 
married, and, getting tired of his wife, turned her off, and she 
went raving mad. He now keeps an oyster stall at Paddington, 
and talks of former days. You see that cheats really do not 
always thrive, even here. 

\2.th March, 1 85 3. — Wonderful men these detectives. They 
dont find out everything, though ! One of our station-masters, 
whom we suspected of mal-practices, wanted a new porter, and 
it was thought that a detective would do well for the situation for 
a little time. So Mr. detective went down and joined in the fun 
of thieving, and other agreeable pastimes, and was considered a 
nice man. They, however, put the poor fellow to carry sacks ot 
corn, which proved ''too much " for a slight young London thief- 
taker, and so he hastened the accomplishment of his mission, 
and the result is that the station-master and all the porters, 
save one, will be discharged off'-hand as soon as a staff" can be 
organised to march into the garrison. Somehow I don't like 
this work. It doesn't seem English, and it is just possible that 
the most diabolical villainy may be practised under it some day. 

* *e * * * * * 

Another week is closed for ever. To look forward how, 



77 

fresh and new and long the week to come appears! To look 
back, how brief, how unsatisfactory ! Who would recall it ? I 
have no desire to do so. Hoping- and resolving-. I yearn for the 
future alone. Some may say "Give me again the past and I will 
do better ; " but I know I should not. When the goal is reached 
and the race of time draws to a close with me, I shall rejoice. 
Breathless, and sadly soiled with the journey, I shall rejoice to 
have the opportunity of casting my burden at the foot ot the 
cross and of entering into rest. 

It is a weary world. The good are secluded. One appears 
now and then amidst the thick battle of life, but for the most 
part they do not jostle on the mart. As the struggling crowd 
thrusts out its bruised and wounded, the good people of the world 
pick them up and pour oil into their wounds ; but their gentle 
voices are not heard amid the shout and the din, the angry curses, 
the distorted faces, and raised arms. If they were to come into 
the thick of the strife, they would find such wicked, wicked men — 
liars, oppressors, cheats, clothed in fine cloth and respectability ; 
grey hairs, with worldly cruel hearts ; trickery marked in solemn 
protestation and virtuous indignation ; thieves on a grand scale, 
witnessing against starving pilferers " for the benefit of society ; " 
grinders of the poor " compelled by competition " to outrage 
their grieved consciences : grinders of the poor, also not so much in 
pocket as in unfeeling wanton words, as though no human 
heart could beat without the gold watch ticking by it, and the 
costly waistcoat covering it. 

\\th March, 1853. — Our clergyman is pitching into the 
Sunday opening of the Crystal Palace, and I am of his opinion. 
Who says that the masses will go to Sydenham and invigorate 
their bodies with fresh air and their minds by the contemplation 
of Nature and art .? I^know the British working-man too well to 
think that when he is "out" he will do anything so tame; and 
as a proof that my opinion is not singular, the public-houses 
within a short distance of the place are rising in value 200 or 300 
percent. The railway officials will be kept at work; the traffic in 
cabs will be increased ; young lads and men will go on the spree ; 
servant-girls and other young women will go there and be led 
astray. The artisan and his wife and bairns will drag down 



78 

there and perhaps enjoy their picnic, but they will spend their 
boot and shoe money and get home tired. Don't tell ! — as the 
Yankees say. At Sydenham it will be no church all day. At 
home there's a chance. Besides, it's a step towards the wretched 
state of France. Let us turn Puritans rather than that. Society 
would be a chaos without religion, little though its influence may 
sometimes appear; and without the observance of Sunday, 
religion cannot be worked — to use a railway term. Let us keep 
to the quiet Sunday. Temptations there are enough ; let us 
make a stand against the application of capital to increase their 
number. Investments must be scarce indeed, when rich and 
quasi-moral-and-patriotic gentlemen speculate on the inclination 
of the people to break the Sabbath. They cannot have lived 
any time in the world and not know that the notion of elevating 
the people's minds by a Sunday trip to their great show is a 
humbug and a farce, and a direct violation of the Divine 
command to keep the Sabbath holy. I believe that the nation 
will incur a curse if the Sunday opening of this huge tea-garden 
monopoly be sanctioned ; and I feel, as a humble member of the 
community, that to permit this desecration will be gross 
ingratitude for the Divine mercy towards our beloved land in 
sparing us the infliction of civil convulsion, and in blessing us 
with an unprecedented flow of prosperous commerce while the 
countries around us have been visited with suicidal strife, 
bloodshed, and annihilated liberties. 

19M May, 1853. — A poor fellow, named Clarke, was knocked 
under the wheels yesterday, by a sudden turn of his horse, and 
although he had the presence of mind to save his life by roUing 
under the waggon, the wheels went over his foot. 

The Company are going to assist my two poor widows, 
whose husbands were killed here. I think they will get £iO 
each. One of them thinks of opening a lodging-house; the 
other is too delicate to do much, and is a difficult subject. I am 
the almoner, and I feel a great deal of conceit as I walk about 
the poor streets visiting my patients. I should have been a 
precious self sufficient hypocritical humbug if I had been a 
parson ; I know 1 should. 

24J/1 May, 1853. — I went to Exeter Hall last night to hear 



79 



Haydn's " Creation " — a wonderful composition. Mrs. Beecher 
Stowe was there, and was much applauded on entering- and re- 
tiring". She appears a delicate little woman. Two clergymen 
accompanied her, and a black man — Uncle Tom, I suppose. 
She took little notice of the sensation she created; a little 
familiar sort of a bow, and exit. 

2.2>th May, 1853. — I went to Epsom yesterday to see the 
* Derby ' run, having- received a pressing invitation from some 
friends to take a seat in their carriage. The day was bright and 
pleasant, and its rays were reflected from a thousand cheerful 
faces on the road — laughing and bantering as on they went — 
every care cast behind. Then the roadside inn, raised from its 
twelvemonth's stupour, and in astonishment at the sudden racket 
in its inside, looked joyous notwithstanding ; while the " missis," 
and the daughter, and the young relation also had come to help, 
and the London waiter, hired for the occasion, looked as spruce 
and as fine as could be. We had first-rate cattle, and passed 
nearly everything. We reached the course early, and obtained 
a good position, close to the barrier and near the grand stand. 
Thousands upon thousands were there, out among the green hills, 
in God's country, bringing their seared and worldly hearts into 
the beautiful province of Nature. I lay back in the carriage and 
philosophised (it was after dinner and a glass of champagne), 
and I thought of Waterloo and the two great armies. The mass 
on the opposite hill, the cleared course between, and the solid 
masses of people on our side were soon transformed into the two 
contending armies; and I thought, en passant, how a little musket 
firing would soon bring me on to my legs on the other side of the 
vehicle. Instead of the popping of corks and the ring of laughter, 
the boom of artillery and the groans of the wounded would, I 
thought, alter the scene; and yet the light gallop of the noble 
horses, the gaily-clothed jockey, the swearing turf-man, the cun- 
ning thief, the clever conjuror, the blooming beauty, the fortune- 
teller and the fortune-hearer, the water-carrier, the beggar, the 
swell, the shoeblack, "three sticks a penny," and the policeman 
on duty, together with my lolling lazy self, would as effectually 
be carried away before sixty years hence as though the cannonade 
had been heavy, and the carnage dreadful, and the glory great 



80 

So up I got and saw the Derby run; and in the midst of the race 
I looked upon the mass of faces turned in eagerness on the strug- 
gling group of flying horses. In an instant the white faces all 
turned away, and black heads filled their places. 

We had tea at the roadside inn as we returned ; and the 
house appeared still more astonished, for the crowd had pene- 
trated into the pretty back-garden where we had our tea. On 
the way home our good horses kept up their pace and we arrived 
in due time at our several destinations after a day of very delightful 
excitement. 

15M June, 1853. — Yesterday up at 5.30, and to Willesden to 
see our station clear of some special trains of troops going to 
Staines by our South Western Junction. Then to Camden, to 
clear some troops brought from the steamer at Blackwall, by our 
Dock Junction, to Camden, for Weedon. To Haydon Square in 
the afternoon, then to Moggs, the map makers, and then back to 
work at Camden. 

lothjune, 1853. — Half an hour's chat with poor Mrs. Essen. 
She is very delicate, and frets still bitterly about her poor husband. 
These two folks, in one room, married some two or three years 
ago, but he failed to get work for nearly a twelvemonth, and they 
parted with all they had. At length he fortunately obtained 
employment on the railway, and they were so happy in their 
little home, gathering back their valuables, one by one ; and 
when he was made brakesman, how they thanked God for their 
prosperity! for " he was a good young man and a kind husband," 
''always to his time," "smiling only if his dinner were not ready 
through some accident; " and she prided herself on never letting 
him come home to an unswept hearth. The last day he went 
away he said, *' Good-bye, Eliza ; " and a nervous feeling made 
her call him back to unsay the word, for it sounded unusual and 
strange. He smiled and said, " What shall I say .? — Then fare- 
well!" and so he went away, saying that he would be back to 
tea in good time. But the tea-time came without him, and hours 
passed away in awful doubt and fear, and then, weeping, she 
went as far as the railway gate, and saw some men in earnest 
talk with the gatekeeper, but she had no courage to ask for her 
husband. Home she went again ; and when my messenger 



81 

asked at the door for Mrs. Essen, she exclaimed, "Is my dear 
husband killed? Tell, oh, tell me, though it should kill me!" 
Then like the wind she flew to the hospital, to her dying- partner 
on his last bed — he sensible and breathing her name ; and when 
she saw that death was on him she bade him pray to God, and 
he replied, " Pray for me." Then the doctors forbade her to 
stay any longer, and sent her home, which was very hard for her 
to bear. With the dawn, after a sleepless night, she again 
entered the hospital, only to learn that her husband was gone, 
with his last accents naming his "dear wife." 

22nd June, 1853. — I have just been superintending the turn- 
ing in and unloading of the Leeds and Bradford goods ; such a 
scuffle as it is ! — men and horses, with scrambling, and hooting, 
and calling over and scribbling, and everyone in his shirt-sleeves, 
and the horses perspiring. A few mornings ago a poor fellow 
was seen looking for the top of his finger, which lay on the buffer 
of a waggon. Terrible work ! The age lives too fast. Nothing 
but top speed will satisfy the public. Every operation must be 
performed in keeping with the railway speed, and the govern- 
ment encouragement of competition in railways pushes the evil 
to a climax. The race into the City every morning between the 
Great Northern Company and us, with Leeds and Bradford 
packs, is dangerous in the extreme. 

The railway to Fenchurch Street from here will run trains 
along our line, and the South Western junction out of it to Kew, 
Brentford, &c., on the 1st August next. Look at the map, and 
you will find that London will soon be "encompassed round 
about " with rails — from Fenchurch to Camden, Camden to Nine 
Elms, Nine Elms or thereabouts to the Crystal Palace (pro- 
posed). 

I had a row with a cabman last week. He agreed to take 
my wife and me home from Tate's, and stopped short at the 
Gloucester Road ; said his horse was restive, and wouldn't go in 
the dark. I got out, and wouldn't pay him. He followed all 
along the road with his cab, occasionally saying, *' Ah ! would 
you ? " This was to his dunderhead horse, who enjoyed the 
quiet walk, and had no more thought of being restive, poor 
beast, than I have of becoming an opera-dancer. Then at my 



gate we had a shindy. He wanted to come in, and I shoved him 
out. I gave him a shilling-, and he took it with threats of a 
summons next day if I didn't pay him more. I declined, and 
closed the gate. In a few minutes all was as still as death — the 
gas-lamp shone on the silent garden, the dog dosed, the white 
blinds drawn down told of stretched-out forms within, and the 
poor rats crept out of their holes to snatch the chickens' crumbs, 
the steady tread of the policeman died away in the distance, and 
the moon gazed down on all the town. 

What do you think of our clergyman, Mr. G. ? He has 
declined a living worth £i,ooo per annum, because he thinks 
his work in this newly formed district is not finished. I rejoice 
to think that he stops with us. His stipend is £350. 

2ird July, 1853. — A glance at G.'s conduct gives me a 
nudge, that other people too might be content without ambitious 
hankerings after Canada, &c. ; that other people too have their 
work to complete amongst weak brothers and destitute sisters, 
and children worse than orphans ; and that running away from 
it all may be deserting a sacred mission. Then ambition 
whispers that increased means give increased power to help — 
that money is better than sympathy — that, in rash attempts to 
rescue, the hero and sinking are often both lost. Well! God 
help us all ! If patience and endurance could be struck out of the 
Christian's conditions, who would not wish to do some one great 
good in acknowledgment of his Maker's mercies — and die .? 
Quitting the weary battle where the Devil charges at the head of 
his troops, now in the front and now in the rear, until the 
Christian's little column of good resolutions., at some fatal 
moment, fails to form the necessary square, and is crushed to the 
earth and annihilated. 

26th July, 1853. — I had a call from an old acquaintance, 
A. R., who has a good business in the City. I learn a few 
things from him, such as manoeuvres on 'Change, &c., which are 
amusing to hear about; but, knowing him to be rather loose in 
principle, I keep my hand on my sword all the time I am with 
him. 

2(^th July, 1853. — Accidents on railways hunt in couples, or 
packs, as I have often told you. A few days ago an axle broke 



88 

on the Trent Valley portion of our line. Last ni^ht a cattle 
train smashed into a goods train on the same line. The night 
before last a train of goods was shunted into this station before 
the proper signal was given, and sent a loaded truck and a horse 
attached to it topsy-turvy. ' 

isi August, 1853. — I was very busy all day on Saturday sell-, 
ing salmon and meat and looking to the goods from a break- 
down near Weedon on Friday night. An express train overtook 
a long goods' train and ran into it. The engine of the goods, 
56 waggons' length off, was knocked off the line and the engine- 
driver sent head foremost into the coke; yet, strange to say, 
three drovers in the goods guard's van, the hindmost vehicle, 
asleep, escaped unhurt. The guard had not time to wake them.. 
He jumped off into a ditch, and the drovers were found rolled up 
together like a ball of cotton. Nobody was injured except the 
express fireman, w^ho had a nasty knock in the eye. The boxes 
of salmon, however, and the bales of goods flew about all over 
the premises. Three bullocks, also, turned a somersault out of 
a cattle waggon and for the moment felt a little surprise, but 
finding the grazing pretty good on the slope where they fell, 
they appeared to like the change and were discovered making 

the best of their opportunity. 

* * * * * # 

Touching total abstinence from drink for example's sake. 
It would do good, doubtless, even one case would be a sufficient 
success. But the difTiculties of such a resolution are very great. 
Many a friend, many an acquaintance, many a pleasant hour 
stolen from care by the exhilarating glass would be lost. The 
jocund laugh would be exchanged for the quiet smile ; and with 
the cccasional morning's headache would go the evening's 
happy interchange of good fellowship. Men extract the happi- 
ness of many hours, and live it out in one, over the generous wine 
or the cheering grog. Virtue is its own reward ; health and a 
more general and thinly spread enjoyment is experienced by the 
abstinent man, and thrown into his bargain is an approving 
conscience, to light him heavenward. For my part, knocking 
about with railway people, I feel it would be next to impossible 
to turn my back upon the poison altogether. I have a serious 



81. 

desire, however, to keep it as far away as possible, considering- 
the awful effect of its excessive use. It is certain that a moderate 
use of drink is a difficult and dangerous position to hold ; like 
table-turning, one begins to move faster and faster until it 
becomes a labour to pull up. 

9M August^ 1853. — I have been up to my eyes in bother the 
last few days. One of my clerks had leave, and the clerk who 
did his duty fell sick, and a third placed to the work got drunk. 
Then I had much trouble in disposing of the corpse of a titled 
lady sent to us by the South Western Company for Carlisle. 
Then two waggons were upset on the line, and a sudden increase 
of business crammed up the station, and the new Kew trains 
stopped and hindered our work, and the engine turntable broke 
and caused all the passenger engines to cross our lines, and 
waggons and tarpaulins grew scarce, and I ate some cucumber 
and made myself ill, and some boys attempted to get over our 
garden wall and steal our apples, and some beef I bought went 
bad, and my potatoes took the disease, and a schoolfellow 
bothered me for a berth, and a new boot gave me a corn, and 
bread rose to 8|d. per loaf, and the butcher's book struck me all 
of a heap, and another smash occurred to a goods train at 
Roade. 

wth August^ 1853. — Thieves are pilfering the goods from 
our waggons here to an impudent extent. We are at our wits' 
end to find out the blackguards. Not a night passes without 
wine hampers, silk parcels, drapers' boxes, or provisions being 
robbed ; and if the articles are not valuable enough they leave 
them about the station. A roll of chintz was found on the station 
this morning ; of course mistaken at first sight for silk, but on 
tearing the paper the plunderer discovered it to be chintz and 
threw it away in disgust. I wish he would send in his claim for 
his loss of time. He should be paid in full. 

\2.th August, 1853. — In yesterday's Times you will see the 
continuation of a paper about a French Commission on War. I 
have not read the preceding article, but in this it is amusing to 
read how neatly the Gallic cock disposes of us poor English. 
He talks of cooking our goose with the utmost ease ; but 
Monsieur will have to get another pair of breeches before he 



85 ' 

takes the wind out of our little men who '' go down to the sea in 
ships," and after he has licked them and got on shore he won't 
find it quite such pleasant walking as in the gardens of the 
Tuilleries. We should manage to keep him on the alert. Then 
you would see young Stevenson at the head of his Camden 
Station Irregulars, slaughtering the enemy and bathed in their 
blood; and when the fight was done behold him decorated with 
the Garter and elevated to a dukedom, say of Montrose, &c., &c. 

17/^ August, 1853. — A friend has just asked my opinion on a 
private matter. I believe we all consult our own inclinations and 
decide in the main, in most cases, before we appeal to the wisdom 
of our friends. How high our estimation of their judgment it 
they approve ! how deep our suspicion of their motives if they 
condemn I 

18M August, 1853. — I am continually bothered with my men. 
Some resign to emigrate, some get drunk and are discharged, 
and others are hurt. There is a difficulty in obtaining strong 
fellows who read and write, and can lead a horse for our night 
and day work. The sturdy fellows, too, are as independent as 
possible. Work is plentiful, and the new land of prom.ise so 
desirable a resource, that we have to pet our good hands. 
By-and-by, I shall have to lift my hat and say, " Oh, Mister 
John Porter, will you do me the favour to turn that waggon ? 
Thank you. Pray take care of yourself there ; and, John Porter, 
sir, would you like to take Mrs. J. P. and the family down the 
line on Sunday? I shall be happy to pass you. And, John, it 
there should be anything nice in the train, amongst the goods, 
which you would like to have, pray help yourself. I wish you to 
feel quite comfortable and unrestrained." It is fast coming 
to this ; and if John Porter gets drunk, instead of dismissing the 
honest fellow, I shall have to say, " Why, John, my boy, you've 
had a little beer! Allow me to fetch a cab, and if you feel ill 
to-morrow, you need not hurry in the morning." 

19/A August, 1853. — I had along argument last night with 
Mr. R., a pale-faced vegetarian. I have seldom met with so 
clear-headed and clever a man. Politics, natural philosophy, 
finance, medicine, — he is fluent in all ; and his opinions on most 
subjects comprehend the bearings of the matter in such a grasp 



86 

that his judgment seems unerring-. Such is the perspicuity of 
his remarks and reasoning-, that one is incHned to confidence 
in his conclusions. He announced his disbehef in the existence of 
the Devil, in eternal punishment, in Christ's actually fasting- forty 
days, in the Devil's placing- Christ on a pinnacle of the temple, or 
an exceeding high mountain, to behold all the kingdoms of the 
world. He treated the whole as figurative; Eve's temptation by 
a serpent, as it is narrated, he laughed at as an absurd fable, 
taken literally. Tell me this : is it anywhere commented upon as 
to the manner in which it became known to the evangelists that 
Christ so fasted, and was tempted ? I shall be glad if you can 
give me a reference to any book which meets liberally and fairly 
the objections of this sort, which will arise in one's mind, not- 
withstanding that the regular orthodox churchman will not 
condescend to notice their existence. 

22nd August, 1853. — I reached Weedon about six o'clock on 
Saturday evening, and proceeded with Charlie and two of his 
friends in a dog-cart, thirty-five miles across country to 
Stratford-on-Avon. The ride was delightful. We baited twice 
on the journey, and as we rode through Leamington and 
Warwick, I recognised the places where, seven years ago, my 
wife and I strolled in the enjoyment of our honeymoon. By ten 
o'clock we had our legs under the supper-table of Charlie's 
friend, Mr. Hartley, proprietor of the Golden Lion hotel. Mine 
host is a jolly fellow, a good singer, and has such floods of 
anecdotes, told with all the manner and wit of an accomplished 
actor. Hartley is a celebrated comedian for a hundred miles 
round, and might have an engagement in London immediately, 
if he chose, but he finds the Golden Lion suits him better. He 
is one of five sons of a schoolmaster, who died when they were 
all young, except the eldest, and he only eighteen years of age. 
This young man kept on the school, and brought up the family. 
All the brothers dined with us yesterday, and a good dinner and 
a good bottle of wine we had — and roars of laughter. In the 
morning we visited the church, saw the tomb of the bard, and 
went thence to the house where Ann Hathaway, Shakespeare's 
wife, resided. A descendant of the Hathaway' s showed me an 
old bedstead, and the kitchen where Will did his courting. We 



87 

started at seven, and drove back to Weedon. A pipe, and a 
chat with CharUe's wife, and then to bed ; not, however, before 
Charlie and I had rushed out with the poker to some imaginary 
thieves, who turned out to be the dog pitching into a birch-broom, 
and nearly choking himself. A train brought me home this 
morning by eleven o'clock, to hosts of papers, and the usual 
shindy. 



The lines proceed, the pages fill — 

And tell the hues of life's swift thread ; 
Soon will it cease, the pen be still. 

The hand that guides it, cold and dead. 

st September, 185 3. — -You and I, in common with all other 
men of fixed income, will be the sufferers if corn becomes scarce 
and provisions rise still higher than their present disagreeable 
rate. Thank God, the prospect of a war is more remote than it 
was ; but the singular blights now apparent in potatoes, grapes, 
and other products, the strange weather of the last eight months, 
and the introduction of so much gold, together with the emigra- 
tion of our miners and sailors, and other men of thews and 
sinews, all proclaim that an extraordinary epoch is coming. The 
mighty billows of Time are rolling on, in the palm of the 
Wonderful Creator. We tiny, but not unnoticed or forgotten 
mites, in the boundless scheme, may go on with our work — I to 
my merchandise and you to your souls — always remembering, 
amid discouragement and difficulty, that *' He that goeth forth 
and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again 
with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." 

2ist September, 1853. — At a trial at Westminster. It would 
make your heart bleed to see some of the wretched criminals and 
their heart-broken friends. I saw several respectable-looking 
young men, from eighteen to twenty-five years of age, well- 
dressed and intelligent, tried for embezzling, pilfering, (fee- 
Some overwhelmed with a sense of their disgraceful position ; 
others scowling at their weeping friends in the Court ; and one 
clever young man, who defended himself with eloquence and 
talent, but who was convicted of having pursued a system of 
embezzlement for four years. Oh I for some miraculous specific 
to cure all crime and sorrow ; to make all people good ; to 



render the judge and the advocate, the detective, the gaoler, and 
the criminal, things of the past ; to banish temptation and take 
away the staircase of error and sin by which men descend, step 
by step, to perdition! Simply let us say, ''Thy Kingdom 
come!" 

2^th September, 1 85 3. — My solemn oration on the decease of 
Mr. Samuel Warren would probably amuse that gentleman. All 
you say of the two authors, now that you mention it, comes up in 
my memory as something I knew well before but had forgotten. 
I have read the " Diary of the Late Physician," and " Ten 
Thousand a Year," and have heard of the other man's ''Crescent 
and the Cross," and cannot think how I could confuse the two 
persons. But what have I to do with your novels and polite 
literature .? Don't I live in a real, tragic, comic, stirring drama — 
more strange than any fiction; Don't my heroes and heroines 
keep me wide awake ? Is there not an absorbing act continually 
on the stage, — parcels, porters, and the public, horses, carts, 
correspondence, careless clerks, and curious coincidences, &c.,&c..? 
What, then, have I to do with your literature ? Pshaw, Sir ! I am 
one of your philosophers, who distil their own ingredients to 
manufacture the elixir of life, and don't buy them at the apothe- 
cary's. I take my stones from the quarry, not from the 
picturesque ruins of another man's building. At least, this is a 
good excuse for my ignorance of the belles letires. Am I not a 
mysterious work myself.? Have I yet read myself? Have I 
sufficiently studied that portion of the book which will live for 
ever ? Can I reflect on the pages of my existence which I have 
scampered through, without a painful and absorbing interest ? 
And when the time comes for me to return the book to the Giver, 
shall I not with shame review the thumbed and soiled leaves, and 
deserve a terrible award for my unprofitable use of it ? 

4/A October, 1853. — The swelling river shines solemnly in the 
sunlight, and on its trusty bosom, the mariner cunningly shifts 
the sails of his craft, using the fickle wind to take his treasure 
far up the stream to the busy port ; while he, and the many 
mighty ships which join him on the way, bearing the varied 
produce of the world, meet the many others outward bound, and 
make a busy scene. Ride we in the eager steamboat, full of 



89 

tired human beings fleeing- from their toil. The thread-bare 
tunes from harp and violin engage the crowd, while such as you 
and I lean over the bulwarks, and gaze on the surrounding 
spectacle. When first I looked on yonder shore, taken to 
Gravesend on a cockney jaunt, I was a wan, and spare, and tiny 
boy, and that great house was building for one, 'twas said, who 
had been a lawyer and had defended thieves, and, having gained 
great civic honours, and a princely fortune, was rearing that 
great dwelling there, to end his days in. Since that time, my 
friend, what deaths I have seen — what poverty, what sickness, 
what changes in circumstance and feeling — what friendships I 
have formed, what love requited, what errors committed ! Now 
just heaves in view a pretty hamlet. The church and red-roofed 
houses, quay and pier and mill, look cheerful, nestling beneath 
chalk cliffs and verdant hills, with dotted woodlands here and 
there. Surely peace and industry must here combine, and 
happiness and Christian charity; no scandal, no tyranny, no 
vice of any kind ! Prithee, step on shore and see. 

* * o * * * * 

Oh ! my Turnbull, come back to Whitchurch, where at least 
sovie virtue may be found ! 

'jth Ocioher, 1 85 3. — The ball-room at Chalk Farm Tavern is 
no more. It has been taken down to make way for some new 
houses. And, so, farewell, thou scene of gents and dirty muslin ! 
At one time, I suppose, greater swells frequented the place — 
white kids, cravats, and well-cut coats, and fair forms charmingly 
arrayed ; but they all went their way, and of late years 
" sixpenny hops " have made night hideous there, — soldiers and 
servant maids, dirty drabs, and dangerous "young fellers" in 
curious clothing, with short pipes and wonderfully unclean 
hands, — such a set ! and they, too, are all gone ! 

gth October, 1853. — At Euston Station last night the engine 
ran against a signalman, and, catching him in the back and 
neatly lodging his hat on the buffer-beam, sent him flying. He 
fell not on the rails, but between them, and escaped with whole 
bones. Now, that is what I call a close shave. These things 
make one nervous for a day or two. A sharp shunt or a shout, 
and the swish of the engine, when one is between our numerous 



90 

lines, makes the heart leap into ^the mouth and the lips hold 
tight, particularly at night. 

13/A October^ 185 3- — What a pucker the local authorities are 
all in about the cholera ! I see one placard, amongst other 
things, recommends the people of London never to drink any 
but pure water. That is waggish, and we shouldn't joke when 
the cholera is coming. 

I am taking an hour's ride on horseback again every day 
when the weather permits. The woods and trees around 
Hampstead are donning the russet suit again. 

Again untiring Autumn brings the golden leaves, 

And clothes the trees in beauty ere it leaves them bare; 
So He who shed His blood between the thieves 

Was first with grandeur decked in robe ot purple rare. 
But, as He rose, — though leafless boughs too soon they'll be, 

Left to the sport and scorn of every passing wind, 
A drear and bitter season over, they will see 

Return of hopeful life to cheer and bless mankind. 

\%th October, 1 85 3. — I paid a visit yesterday afternoon to the 
Hanwell Lunatic Asylum. As soon as we had passed the door 
and stood on the well staircase of the interior, amid many iron 
bars, made as cheerful as possible with light blue paint, I felt we 
were inside a madhouse. Squatted in unlikely places and in 
uncomfortable and unexpected attitudes, poor demented women 
met the view, staring, simpering, smiling, giggling, declaiming, 
or swearing; and others, equally sad to see, absorbed in silent 
madness. In the refractory wards higher up — for the large well 
staircase has several landings, with wards opening upon each — 
there were creatures in petticoats, with stubbly hair and distorted 
ill-shapen faces, lounging about and raving and blaspheming if 
spoken to. Others made absurd noises ; others twiddled their 
fingers as though playing the flute. One poor wretch was gobbling 
exactly like a turkey, and another informed me that she (the 
gobbler) was " always at it," — "it was strange, but do what she 
would with her, she would make that noise," — "now, for her 
part, her uncle's name was Herring, and her own name was 
Thatcher." Poor Thatcher ! They said she was a hard-working 
well-disposed patient. A lady in checked clothing offered me 
some bread, and another asked me if I was for England and 
Victory ; while a third woke up from a deep reverie, as she sat, 



91 

tailor-fashion, on her bed, and cursed me lustily. One demanded 
whom I had come to see, and then consig-ned me to perdition. 
An old woman — I noticed that most of the women were old — was 
performing some tragic and by no means ungraceful gestures, 
with denunciation of an awful kind against some person best 
known to herself. She was, however, locked up before she had 
concluded, and there her tongue was let loose. The young 
woman who was her keeper said, " She never strikes. AH" 
noise." In a small ward an old respectable-looking lady said 
that her heart was broken and had been so a long, long time ; 
and in the next breath, in reply to a contradiction, she exclaimed, 
*'No, certainly not; if my heart were broken I shouldn't be 
here." When reminded that she had just stated before that her 
heart Z£;^j broken, she replied, "Ah, I said so. I say a many 
things ! " I think there are many people at large as insane as 
this respectable old woman. I found one wild-looking female 
standing behind me with a handful of knives, which rather 
surprised me, to say the least of it ; but, on examination, the 
implements proved to be harmless, only about an inch or so of 
the blade being at all sharp, and the remainder the sixteenth of 
an inch in thickness. I enquired if the mad folks knew that these 
were different from ordinary knives. The keeper smiled and 
replied, ''Quite well. In fact, they know almost everything, even 
to the shame of being in a madhouse." A very mad lady-like 
woman, with remains of much beauty, said, in answer to the 
keeper, that she was much better, as must be clear to her, for 
otherwise she would have been unable to move. This patient 
was said to be highly accomplished. In the matron's dining- 
room we found a nice-looking old person. On seeing me look 
at the portrait of Dr. Connolly, which hung in the room, she broke 
out into fervent admiration of the man. "Ah, sir! every insane 
person should pray for that good man. I have been here fifteen 
years and can remember the time when an iron belt and chain 
fastened us to the wall and we were treated cruelly. Many, many 
years was that good gentleman trying to get the system altered, 
and he succeeded at last." The keeper told us that this was all 
true, but that the old person who had addressed us had been 
getting rather worse in her malady lately. All praise to the good 



92 

and great man who created such a feeling* of gratitude in a 
madwoman's heart ! A look into another ward, where a ' Queen ' 
sitting- in state at one end of the table, and an old wretch, who 
cursed the keeper for asking- for her beer, at the other ; and this 
finished the female side. 

The men were more orderly. They were sitting- about on 
seats, some reading-, others smoking-. One crept behind my 
friend and tried to pinch his leg-, but this was in a refractory 
ward, and was the only instance of the kind we saw. The men 
looked worst in the epileptic ward, bloated, spooney, heavy. 
The other wards contained some fine, handsome young- men, 
with hig-h foreheads. Many of them touched their hats and rose 
as we passed. One man told me that he and his brothers had 
had some money left them, and that it worried him and they sent 
him there ; " now, wasn't that a hard case ? " Another — a fine 
old man-of-war's man — gave me an account of their having 
taken away his pension and shoved him in there ; and another 
interrupted him with the consoling remark that it was '' only for 
life, Bill." The men bake, brew, make all the clothes and shoes 
and bedding, print, and perform, in short, all the labour of the 
building. 

Are you tired of this long rigmarole about insanity.? Well, 
what is your opinion on the subject.? I am inclined to believe the 
theory of the man who made out that we were all mad. The 
madhouses only contain the worst cases. Most of the people at 
Hanwell seem to have the string of their ideas cut, and all 
their thoughts kicking about in their brains anyhow. There 
are few of us, I fear, who have the string very loose some- 
times, and the notions get into the most improper places in our 
noddles occasionally. We sane folks who pity our poor mad 
brethren so complacently ! In the Asylum one lunatic laughs at 
his companion's delusion, but goes stark with his own. What are 
we doing out of the Asylum — in the pulpit, on the platform, in 
the press .? Why, laughing at each other's delusions and going 
into our own "like mad." What is more insane than the pro- 
pensity to do just what we know to be evil, in spite of the warn- 
ings of conscience, and to incur Divine vengeance for the sake of 
a few years of feverish neglect of God's commands.? 



93 

2^h September, 1853. — All the past week our station has been 
in a mess. Goods accumulating, agents neglectful, reports, 
denials, proofs, waggons off the line, pilferages, indignant public, 
wonderful influx of potatoes from the north, remonstrance with 
general manager on the filthy state of the station, brakesmen 
crushed between the buffers, alteration of trains, new regulation 
to put detonating fog-signals several hundred yards in the rear 
of any train coming to a stand on the line, in addition to using 
the hand signal (this in consequence of the Irish accident), sick- 
ness amongst the porters, sickness amongst the horses. 

25M October, 1853. — In the extreme state of insanity, women 
are the more noisy and gesticulatory of the two sexes ; and the 
peculiarity ascends the scale. The most sensible woman is a 
greater scold than her parallel companion, the most sensible man. 
When a man is talkative and violent in his remonstrances, 
appears to me a mark of effeminacy. The calm and dignified 
manner, the few pointed words of biting reproof, or earnest 
exhortation, are the attributes of a man. 

2'jth October, 1853. — Some of the clerks here are getting up 
a Mutual Instruction and Discussion Society. We have a small 
Reading Room in Pickford & Co.'s department, and I met the 
clerks last night and read to them a little paper as a sort of 
inaugural address. In it I contrasted the present aspect of our 
station and its surroundings with the green fields and lanes 
which formerly occupied the site — the peaceful rural scene where 
the modest daisy raised its face to the sun, the violet shed its 
perfume, and the lark ascended with its morning song to heaven. 
I showed how much we were indebted to the labours of our 
ancestors, and spoke of the duty attaching to each one of us to 
cultivate our own minds, and thereby, in a humble way, to help 
forward the general progress of our country and of the human 
race. 

^h November, 1853. — I was in the City yesterday and this 
morning. As a novelty there is much to contemplate in the 
commencement of a City morning. About 7 or 8 a.m. the 
outskirts of the great hive of the insect called Man is all alive in 
the upper rooms, with the said insect in his shirt sleeves, applying 
a bright sharp instrument to his chin. Then thousands of them 



.descend the stairs, rave about, put on boots, eat and drink some- 
thing, and sally forth. Then a race commences towards the 
centre of the Hive ; and away they pour, some riding, some on 
foot, — thicker and closer; mingling, at length, with the dirty 
dwellers in that place towards which they are rushing. As they 
thicken, and drop off at the little cells where they stop all day, 
you may see their faces grow more grave ; and although in the 
throng you might take them to be all of one species, an inspection 
of a few of the cells would show you that there are many degrees 
among them. See the "great" man in that inner cell lecturing 
the younger insect on the evils of dissipation. Well, — they were 
both drunk last night, — one at his own table with wine, the other 
at a tavern, on gin and water. See that stout old insect crawling 
into yonder cell. He meets one of the dirty dwellers, — a female 
of the species. He tells her that times are hard and prices low, 
and that he can't give her more than sixpence per dozen for 
shirts. 

But there are the good cells, where excellent things are done 
all day long, by rich but hard-working men, who keep up the 
gradual improvement of the great hive. What a morning's walk 
we could take together, meditating on these things. 

2ird November^ 1 853. — You will smile when I tell you that I am 
on the paper in the Reading-room of our little Society for " A few 
remarks on Geology." Of course! What do you mean by 
jeering ? Didn't I study under Professor Sedgwick at the 
University of Cambridge ? Didn't I listen to that learned man for 
a whole hour one wet day ? What do you say 1 A mere compilation ? 
Well, suppose it be, as far as technicalities go ; is there anything 
new under the sun .? At any rate the reflections and remarks will 
be my own, and that is all that I announce. Be off. Bob ; don't 
bully me. 

2'jih April, 1854. — The day's work is over. The papers are 
cleared away or stowed under weights, to rest during the 
darkness. The clerks are gone, the office sounds hollow, and the 
calm evening invites me to take my departure. I hasten away» 
The pause on this restless place will be brief. The night clerks,, 
porters, horses, and engines will soon be here, to pull and haul 
and shriek and shout and hurry and drive. 



95 

10th April, 1854. — In some moments a blessed hope illumines 
my mind, and I believe confidently that, when this world of sin 
and sorrow and disappointment shall close on my view for ever, 
a sweet voice of forgiveness and mercy will ring- joyfully in my 
ear ; that Jesus Christ will wash my polluted soul from sin ; that 
that wonderful sacrifice — that almost incredible system of 
unbounded love will be realised by me. Hasten, O happy hour I 
Who could not long- that the shadows mig-ht thicken for a 
moment, to be dispelled for ever ? Who would not be eager to 
exchange this world, how blessed soever it may be, for that glorious 
land, the splendour of which eye hath not seen and the heart ot 
man cannot conceive ? Think of purity and glory and brightness 
and love, unalloyed and unfading for ever. 

^h May, 1854. — Last night I dined at the Hanover Square 
Rooms with no end of parsons. One of the cloth got very * tight.' 
He d — d everybody and nearly punched my head. He's 
repenting at his leisure this morning, I reckon. The Bishop of 
Chester made a good speech— a little too long perhaps. The 
dinner was not the best I ever sat down to, and there was great 
uproar in getting the hats and coats, coming out. The parsons, 
who are no doubt nearly all unseasoned casks, were very 
boisterous. 

16M May, 1854. — George Campbell felt his feet very cold the 
other night, and said so, and got up and wrapped himself in 
warmer clothes; but the fire was flickering within, though he 
knew it not, and the poor old man died while dressing himself 
in the morning. He was a random talking old fellow, and 
irreligious apparently; but who knows how far he outraged his 
conscience, under the impression that it was necessary to suit his 
conversation to his hearers, whom he thought irreligious ? Who 
shall say what passed between himself and God, in the quiet hour 
when the world was shut out and conscious guilt and fear accused 
him on his knees ? 

^th June, 1854. — What a long correspondence I have had 

with the Countess of about the threepences charged for her 

empty baskets ! I had a few notes last year, but this year she 
has gone on anyhow. There's more bother about a nobleman's 
vegetables, or a parson's wife's new cap, sent by luggage train 



96 

than about all the provisions for the fleet or ten thousand bales 
for China. You aristocrats ought to send by passenger train 
only. Why, your butler or your cook prigs more in a week than 
would pay for the vegetable basket or the hamper of foul linen for 
twelve months. And yet the portly Samuel and Mrs. Dripping 
escape, while we Railway innocents are called extortionists, and 
cheats, and monopolists, and get abused in the most fearful terms, 
but generally in pure grammar. 

2^thjune, 1854. — Bells in steeples don't like playing tunes. 
They do it evidently under protest, — especially the sacred tunes. 
There are our Hampstead bells, now. They struggle through 
the familiar psalm-tunes in a most agonising manner. The quick 
notes are not at all solemn ; they have a ' nix my dolly, pals ' 
inclination which outrages one's sense of propriety. Since the 
man greased one of the slowest sacred airs, the other day, and it 
darted off, to his horror, at polka pace, the notes have settled 
down into respectable time ; but the clergyman had better have 
left the steeple to play **Peas and Beans," as it used to do until 
he was scandalised by the secular sounds ; for the alteration to 
sacred tunes exclusively is a dead failure. 

6th July, 1854. — I am very much down in the dumps. I find 
myself inclined to grumble at everyone, and when anything turns 
up that gives me a reasonable opportunity to grumble with a fair 
cause, why, I go in and win. Win, did I say ? No, I don't win 
much ; I leave off worse tempered than before. I have heard of 
a sea-captain who used to retire occasionally and have half- 
an-hour's hard swearing by himself, in which he is said to have 
found great relief. I haven't tried this. 

I ith Julyt 1854. — ^On Sunday I dined with a friend at Watford 
and enjoyed a delightful walk to Stanmore and Bushey Heath. 
My friend's aunt, an old lady, lives in a picturesque cottage near 
his house, and the indentical ' Mr. Dick ' lives with her. He is an 
old chap now,— off his head, as our nurse calls it. He dosen't 
chink his money, as Dickens tells; but if they give him any he 
throws it away instanter. He likes to be talked to, and listens 
to conversation, and makes comical noises when he laughs ; but 
he seldom says anything except ' yes ' or * no.' He is rich, and 
his brother, w^ho is also his heir, thinks he will soon die, but 



97 

Mr. Dick seems inclined to hang on sturdily. Now, whether 
Dickens ever stumbled across this ' Mr. Dick ' or not, I cannot 
tell ; but his name is Dick, and the similarity of the characters 
in name and intellect and other things is singular. 

Last night, after I was used-up at the station, I strolled to 
Hampstead. There were the omnibuses, and the rough fellows 
at the end of Flask Walk, and the Station-house, and Hankin's, 
and George Kerrison, who looks older, talking to Cornick, the 
man who has Watson's shop ; and there was Livock's Alley ; and 
there the place where the garden used to be, — for they have built 
a house in it, which you will be surprised to learn. The poor new 
house appears to feel its false position; the whole thing looks 
uncomfortable. The calm evening resting tranquilly on the 
fresh green undulating landscape, the stillness heightened by the 
cowboys' call to the cattle, and the gratification which one always 
feels at gazing upon a wide expanse far out, had a sweet effect 
on my mind; and the railway clerk forgot, for the moment, 
his station, and thought pure thoughts full of aspiration, beyond the 

toil and struggle of the city at his back, and, but the fever 

I lately had has made me spooney, I think, at times. 

iSthJuly, 1854. — My wife and I, and three of the bairns, are 
staying at Heme! Hempstead, near Boxmoor station. The ride 
to and from Camden daily is doing me good. There are 
beautiful walks in the neighbourhood of the town, and we shall 
all benefit by the change. Hemel Hempstead is a quiet place, 
with about 8,000 inhabitants, who retire to bed at 10 p.m. They 
have public-houses, but the publicans go to church like christians, 
and nobody appears to get drunk. The church is a Norman 
edifice, with a fine spire. Inside there is a hideous gallery, and 
the organ is a bad one ; but there are two good stained-glass 
windows. When the creed is said, people and priest turn to the 
communion table — which ought to be announced beforehand to 
strangers seated in the chancel, as they suddenly find themselves 
turned round upon by the whole congregation, which is em- 
barrassing. There is an absurd old countryman, with a queer- 
shaped head, and a dissipated-looking white choker, who will 
stare about the church, and who holds in his hand a stick with a 
sort of cruet on the top of it. Apart from these eccentricities, 

E 



98 

the church on Sunday is a pleasing- sight. How many years the 
sun has shone through those old windows on the same scene, 
though the actors have been replaced over and over again ! 
What a serious moral those venerable walls seem to preach ! 

20th July, 1854. — The Hemel Hempstead straw-plaiters are 
to be met with all over the town. They talk, and walk, and look 
about, and loiter, and listen, while their fingers all the time spin 
away at the straw, turning it into plaits fit for sewing into 
bonnets. Women, old and young, lovers and wives, and little 
children, are all engaged in this manufacture, and you find 
them at work in all sorts of places — at the cottage doors, at the 
corners of streets, in Sir Astley Cooper's beautiful park, by the 
stream, in the fields, and by the fire-side. It is said that the 
young women grow up to be bad wives, and that the little 
children make dirty plait, which fetches a low price. 

There is a service at the church here every day, but I am 
told that the clergyman's wife is very often the only person 
present besides his Reverence. 

Have you read Mrs. Crowe's "Night-side of Nature?" — 
such a book about ghosts ! Take care that you do not see my 
double walk into your premises some of these days. Certain it 
is that if the spirit lingers near those whom the heart has es- 
teemed, mine is very likely to pay you a visit ere it wings its 
flight. Well, it isn't pleasant to meet the ghost of the dearest 
friend if one steps into the garden after dusk ; so, we'll drop the 
subject, and hope that nothing of the kind will happen. 

Afth August, 1854. — Yesterday my friend, Mr. Taylor, of the 
Steam Flour Mill adjoining Camden Station, took me to his house 
in the country to dinner. I popped away at three o'clock, and 
we reached Rickmansworth, four miles from Watford station, 
about 4.30. I was driven up a beautiful avenue of trees, into a 
square space, bounded on two sides by an Elizabethan mansion, 
and on the other two by trees and a stream of water, across 
which there is a pretty view of the church and a wood. Surprised 
— for I had expected to find quite a different kind of dwelling — I 
walked through the spacious oaken hall and into the panelled 
dining-room, and then into the drawing-room, and shook hands 
with ^the miller's two young daughters and their governess. 



99 

Dinner wouldn't be ready for an hour or more, so I consented to 
my friend's proposal to take a turn in the grounds, g-lad of the 
opportunity of examining the fine old place. It had been for 
centuries the manor-house of a family of the name of Whitfield, 
who gradually sold their land and died out, leaving the house 
and some acres around in Chancery. My friend bought the 
house, and twenty-five or thirty acres, and had the misfortune to 
lose his wife just as he was about to remove to the beautiful 
place. He occupies about half the house ; the remaining rooms 
are empty and silent — the very air of them seems mournful 
Wide staircases, sprawling hinges, stained-glass windows, oak 
carving, gables outside and mysterious passages within, contrast 
strangely with the homely habits of the occupants — yet I question 
much if the shining panels of the large dining-room ever looked 
down upon a better scene than that in which the honest old 
gentleman took the principal part, when he read aloud a chapter 
from the Bible to his daughters, their governess, and myself. 
His sonorous voice gave forth the Holy Words with an impres- 
sive emphasis, befitting his venerable appearance. During the 
prayer which followed, a stranger, gazing through the window 
from without, might have supposed the miller, with his grey hair 
and white neckcloth, to be the family chaplain ; while the 
kneeling forms of the daughters and their governess, with those 
of your David and the two servants, filled up a consistent back- 
ground. I slept in an immense room. The great bed of Ware 
could not have been larger than the enormous concern towards 
which I journeyed after putting out the light on the huge dressing- 
table. I slept soundly. Whether the restless spirits of any ot 
the Whitfield family hovered about the room I know not. The 
witching hours passed over, and I awoke when the bell rang. I 
had a brisk walk to my clothes on the chair, and thence to the 
washstand, which gave me an appetite for my breakfast. 

\yh August, 1854. — The strike of the drivers has harassed 
us immensely this week. It is a mistake, however, to suppose 
that they are skilled mechanics. When railways first commenced 
skilled mechanics drove the engines, but they gradually left the 
employment, and now a cleaner becomes a fireman and then a 
driver. A few months' experience gives them the requisite 

E 2 



LOO 

knowledge, which is much more simple than people suppose. 

A terrible accident occurred last night on our Fenchurch 
Street Branch. The last train of goods from Haydon Square 
came to a stand for want of water, on an inclined plane at High- 
bury. The engines ran away for a supply, the men in charge 
thinking that the waggons would remain stationary. Unfortunately, 
however, the waggons ran back and met an advancing passenger 
train full tilt. The driver of the passenger train was killed on 
the spot. The hreman is not expected to recover, and one of my 
number-takers has also little chance of recovery. Four or five 
men in the break-van of the goods train escaped by a jump at the 
last moment, and the van was knocked into a complete smash — 
to use a moderate expression. Yet, with all this, the passengers 
escaped with a few bruises — an extraordinary result. 

i(^h August, 1854. — Years ago I climbed the coke-oven 
chimney shaft here. It was newly built, and was esteemed a 
wonder. Three towering shafts marked Camden Station, from 
whatever point round London one viewed the prospect. Two 
of these long since sank into a heap of bricks. This week the 
last of our landmarks was hauled down, and a few minutes and 
a ''hurrah!" restored the column of air it had so long displaced. 

2.0th August, 1854. — Well, here I sit in tranquility, after a 
week of more than usual bustle and excitement. The events 
which have occurred, death from disease and accident, and 
change of all kinds, bring my thoughts at this moment to the 
text of vScripture " My times are in Thy hand." How terrible, 
yet how consoling, is this truth! How universal, yet how in* 
dividually applicable ! The nations of the earth may cry peace, 
and in the pride of a vaunted civilisation, say, " Behold our 
mighty progress, the work of our hands ! " — but God, in whose 
hand their times are, may prove there is no peace. National sin 
is visited, and the great design of the Creator is carried forward. 
The pursuit of medical science may be so successfully prosecuted 
that mankind becomes almost exempt from violent suffering, 
when, behold, a scourge appears, to baffle all remedy and 
puzzle the most skilful and profound efforts of human aid, — 
bringing the boasting creature to confess that his times are in 
the hands of his Creator. Send forth the reapers, O, favoured 



lOi 

England, into thy overladen fields, swelling- with their luxuriant 

crops of golden food ; humbly thrust in the sickle and with 

g-rateful heart gather into thy garners the blessed harvest; 

and, while the manly voices of the toiling sons rend 

the air with rejoicing that the last load is secured, let 

thy swelling heart confess that lightning and tempest, and 

rot and blight, might have snatched the yellow prize from 

thy eager hand, that cholera might have left thee without labour 

to collect the store before the storms of winter consigned it to 

destruction. Boast not thyself, for thy times are in God's hand. 

Thou sowest, God has given thee the increase. Eat thou the 

bread of thankfulness, for the tramp of armed enemies is far 

removed from thy peaceful fields ; thy comfortable firesides know 

not the ruthless intrusion of the desolating soldier; oh, boast not 

thyself, for the battle is not always to the strong. Long may the 

glorious season of harvest-time yield thee the fulness of the earth! 

Long may the beauty of thy landscapes be heightened by the 

glorious clothing, over hill and dale, of rich verdure and waving 

■corn ! Long may thy wonderful fleets be spared the storm, and 

•experience that immunity from defeat which has so singularly 

<Lttended them, to protect thy shores from each hostile attack ! 

But remember in thy day of prosperity that the earth is the Lord's 

and the fulness thereof. To the gay, to the grave, the prosperous 

and the unfortunate, to the hoping and the successful, and the 

bereaved, and the broken-hearted, this text, like many others in 

the Blessed Book, applies alike with great force. A merciful 

Providence veils the future from our eyes, and coming events 

seldom cast their shadows before. Otherwise the gloom of a 

future reverse would embitter a long period of previous existence. 

God has commanded us what to do and be saved, and bids us 

cast our care upon Him. If we suffer, we may feel assured that 

it is to some wise end. Cheerful resignation will be blessed by 

increased fortitude to bear our burden, and teach us to say with 

humility, ''My times are in Thy hand." Let not, however, the 

reckless and defiant sceptic think to escape the confession. The 

time will come; even his next movement may wring it from him. 

He may step into the next railway train smiling, confident — and 

a few minutes may see him in the debris of a cojitfig^^mangled 




102 

and helpless. The morning may smile on his buoyant step, and 
the night may fling its pall over him, stark and dead in the silent 
room. He may form his plans for the progress and eminence of 
his darling offspring, but their times are in God's hands, and he 
may unexpectedly have to don the sombre garments of mourning 
for their early death, and lay down his schemes and the pride and 
hope of his heart — that heart which God, in His mercy, by such 
visitations converts to Himself. By these and many other means 
God often obliges the worldly, self-relying man to confess His 
holy name; but "blessed are they that have not seen and yet 
have believed." Blessed, indeed, is the man who has learnt early 
to rely on his Maker. The storms of affliction may burst over 
him, sorrow and poverty may overtake him ; but he has a Friend 
who can and will guide and comfort him in all seasons. His 
house is built upon a rock. 

" Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me praise His holy name. 

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits ; 

Who forgiveth all thy sins and healeth all thine infirmities ; 

Who saveth thy life from destruction and crowneth thee with mercy and 
loving-kindness ; 

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things and maketh thee young and lusty 
as an eagle." 
3o/>^ August, 1854. — 

On an engine, in the night-time, 

Flying through the starlit gloom ; 
Not a word between us spoken : 

On great caution hangs our doom. 
Watch the gauge — turn on the water- 
Ope the gleaming furnace-door, 
Making us appear like demons, 

In the glare, and smoke, and roar ! 
Ho ! the signal ! Put the break on ! 

Shut off steam— reverse the gear ! 
Now the monster throbs and struggles, 

While we stare ahead and fear. 
To man's frail limbs the mighty engine 

Yields obedience, and we stand 
Beneath the lofty danger-signal. 

(Isn't this description grand ? ) 

I ith September, 1854. — More than usual to-day. I came to the 
office fresh and vigorous for work, and a more than usual amount 
of vexation, hurry, and irregularity has taken the shine out of me. 
Now Tm going home jaded and inclined to be ill-tempered. 
So on and on and on. When will it end.' It's a horse-mill sort 



103 

of business, this life of ours. Sleep and dream and eat and 
work, and sleep again. True, while we go round, the devil or 
man throws a brick at us, or lashes us, or breaks our shins, and 
so stirs us up ; and then ag-ain we are turned out into the green 
fields for a day occasionally. But for the most part it is grind, 
grind. 

" Around, around, around, 
About and still about ; 
All ill come running in, 
All good keep out." 

iph September, 1854. — Poor George Watson died on Sunday 
night last, about 10 p.m. He had been ill for four or five weeks 
with a diseased heart, from which he was not expected to 
recover; but a two days' attack of diarrhoea hastened the crisis. 

Taking a glance at George's career as a specimen of human 
life, what a troubled streak of existence it appears ! An indulged 
boyhood — moral and practical struggling- in manhood, in which 
poor George continually had the worst of it — and an early grave. 
The book is filled, and its pages are waste paper. How con- 
temptible our fuming and puffing, our important anxieties and 
hopes, our scheming and grasping appear, when brought to 
this test! But that we are assured that the all-wise Creator 
fulfils some design in giving us this cunningly devised frame and 
these few years of life, we could not but turn away from the 
consideration of our pilgrimage as a worthless puzzle. I do not 
make these reflections in a gloomy spirit. Such thoughts kick 
off" the ambition, self-importance, and anxious care from a man's 
heart, and allow simpler and purer pursuits to occupy him. He 
gives vent to love and kindness, stoops closer to the domestic 
affections, doffs his dignity, smiles at insults, has a hand and a 
cheering word for his erring and fallen brother, and a gentle 
feeling to all around him, knowing, as he does, that it is all 
gliding away — swiftly, surely, gliding away. The white hair in 
his head neither shames nor startles him ; it is all in keeping 
with what his heart daily tells him. He pities and encourages, 
and goes about humbled and hopeful, waiting for the end. Such, 
it strikes me, must be the result to a man whose mind habituates 
itself to such musings, and is not tossed and driven by every 
wind of excitement and temptation. 



104 

1 8/;^ Septemher, 1854. — Nine horses lame and sick. Enough 
to grizzle one to fiddle-strings ! It is a good thing they're not 
my own property. I should wish the cat had me. 

To the junction, five miles down, at 6 p.m. Back into the 
City by 8. To a Manchester agent at 9.30, and home at mid- 
night. 

25M September, 1 854. — What can be said of the war ? — of the 
mangling and smashing and ruining of peaceable people, of the 
mock glory, of the train of desolated widows and orphans, of the 
hardened men who come away from the bloody work to dwell 
amongst us again ? There they go, bold hearts who deny that 
they see fear — keeping down, down, the inward quake about the 
soul, bright in colouring and gold and steel, beneath their flags. 
Yonder the host proceeds. Soon will the still small voice be 
drowned in excitement ; soon death, sudden stone-dead death, 
miserable, agonising, frenzied death, and death under the sur- 
geon's knife! And medals -will be struck, and the band will 
play, and the Bishops will thank God, and subscriptions will 
pour in to try to fill the crevices in the rent hearts of the poor 
mothers and wives, and the rich mothers and wives must go 
up-stairs and weep, and time will cement over the disfigured 
parts of the social fabric ; and there an end of the success against 
the Russians. 

Can it be that Napoleon, whose best means of securing his 
position on the throne is a firm alliance with respectable 
England, — can it be that he, not a young man, has deep schemes 
of revenging Waterloo } I can scarcely believe it. I think he 
likes enjoym.ent. Will he not prefer to grasp it for the rest of 
his life, rather than endanger the loss of his superb elevation by 
treating us treacherously 1 He may write instructions for a son 
or successor who would doubtless be anxious to distinguish him- 
self in the eyes of a grand nation, but I do not think he intends 
to break with us himself — at any rate, not in the Russian war. 
Besides, he has Moscow to revenge if that be his humour. 

^th October, 1854. — There seems a great deal of deli^y in the 
transmission of official news from the Crimea, or else we should 
hear of the fall of Sebastopol authentically. How full of bounce 
and exultation the British Lion is ! How the men up in the little 



105 

rooms in Printing-house Yard are letting off their crackers- 
clapping their wings on the safe side of Russia and crowing 
about oiw power, and our success in the Crimea ! The article 
to-day about the widows and orphans is, however, well timed 
and well written. 

loth Octoher, 1854. — Is it not sickening to read of the whole- 
sale mowing down of men at the battle of the Alma ? How 
many families will be bowed down with grief at the sad news ! 
It is, however, to be hoped that the struggle in the Crimea will 
soon have the effect of bringing matters to a negotiation. 

I ']th October, 1 854. — My feet are cold. The fire is gone down. 
The office is silent after the bustle of the day. The gas-burners 
shed a complacent look on the vacant stools and desks, where sit 
the six or eight busy scribblers during the best hours of the day. 
Could I, with supernatural glance, follow them, and see what they 
are about, and penetrate their thoughts, a strangely mingled 
history would, perhaps, in each case, reveal itself. The whole 
circumstances of even the simplest life would fill an interesting 
volume. The Recording Angel, whose book I was told of when 
a small boy, must have plenty to do. Well — my feet don't get 
warmer, and I want my tea. Let us turn out the complacent 
burners, and leave the spirits to gaze on the stools and desks. 
The spirits require no light ; to them the night and day are clear 
alike. Not from the material sun do they receive illumination, 
but the Light of Lights sheds brightness upon them. May they 
be granted ministering power to remove temptation from the 
paths of those whose daily toil it is my duty to superintend, and 
may they help me also to a blessing! 

2.^ih October^ 1 85 4. — Yesterday, I accompanied some railway 
officials down the new junction to the intended Victoria Docks, 
near Woolwich. They are docks, and no mistake; large enough 
for the largest ships, and fully equal to the extended notions of 
naval architecture. The entrance-gates will have twenty-seven 
feet depth of water, and the docks themselves will be perfect 
lakes. Warehouses, vaults, steam cranes, a railway, and a 
turnpike road are all marked out, on the most improved plans. 

30//^ October, 1854. — Busy to-day. Away to Haydon Square 
this afternoon. A jostle through the crowded City — more busi- 



106 

ness than ever. Exuberant street-boys, who whistle in people's 
ears, and instantly look another way, young swells going home, 
with the regular Sibthorpe collar, workmen with dirty faces, 
porters with parcels, anxious middle-aged ladies, careworn 
shabby young women, sometimes a sweet bright sunbeam of a 
face in the gloom of the commercial crowd, and now a wanton 
face, and then an old buffer — all going on ; and then, in two 
or three minutes, all changed for a lot more, still ever changing, 
flowing unceasingly forward. 

25 M December, 1 85 4. — Is there not in all of us some kernel 
of goodness, which, though concealed by our worldly exterior, 
lives on, amidst our follies and sins, and occasionally expanding 
to the surface, brings the prayer to our lips, and our knees to 
the ground ? Retiring oft it may be, but destined to stand out 
revealed when the fleshly covering, with its passions, weaknesses, 
and misconceptions, shall fade away. Oh, for that time when 
everybody will be good and pure and bright and glorified ! 
May you and I walk hand-in-hand in that bright kingdom — 
saved for ever! Until then — the world as it is — and God help us 
in all things. 

\th January, 1 85 5. — On Christmas Day, my foreman, Fogarty, 
Yeoman of the Guard to the Queen, was nearly squeezed to 
death between the buffers at this station. As a brakesman was 
killed a day or two ago, and a boy was run over the night 
before, one gets quite nervous. 

I left poor Fogarty about three o'clock, a fine hearty man, 
full of life, and I saw him a few hours after, saying his prayers 
on the hospital bed, wiih no hope of life. He has, however, 
lingered on to this time, and now lies with a bare chance of 
recovery. While I was at the hospital on Christmas night, 
a man was brought in dead, killed by the train — as they said — 
at Camden ; but I did not know his face, and it appeared after- 
wards that he lost his life on the North London line, about 
half-a-mile from Camden. 

All the merry time of Christmas, and up to within a day or 
two, we have been in a sad mess in the station, through increased 
traffic, the alterations, and want of locomotive power, and my 
work has been very hard. 



107 

Some clever man has invented an improved fog-signal. A 
fog-signal is a small case of tin, which contains percussion caps 
and gunpowder, and, being placed on the rail, the pressure 
of the wheel fires it off with a loud report. The improved signal 
we find, discharges pieces of cast-iron, and wounds the men. A 
few nights ago, one of the guards was hit in the thigh, and 
nearly bled to death before medical aid could be obtained. A 
pointsman has since been cut, and I have called in the improved 
articles. Talking of bleeding to death, one of my men was 
riding on an engine a few days ago, eating, with a knife 
in his hand; a sudden movement of the engine threw 
him into the tender, and ran the knife into his leg and severed 
an artery. 

What of Peace, and the War, and the mismanagement, and 
the horror .? I don't go altogether with you: though you, no doubt, 
are better able to '' surround " the subject. Perhaps I have 
caught the popular feeling in some respects, although I detest 
the bounce and self-reliance of the vox populi. Whether the 
Czar intended to overrun Turkey, and all the world afterwards, 
or whether Napoleon helped us into the row, or not, I cannot say; 
but the nation has undertaken to check the Czar in a case of 
aggression, pretty fairly proved against him, and the nation 
must do its best, under Providence, to carry out that object. 
Our disasters must be endured, and patient, but energetic 
exertion must be made to retrieve the position we have lost. 
Well, I don't like the subject; 1 seldom tackle it: it is so 
complicated, so deplorable in every point of view. 

26th January, 1 85 5 . — The days go quicker, and the hurry of 
life increases in speed with me. 

I tell you of most of our accidents, so I must not omit the 
case of signalman Rice, who went up a ladder to light the lamp 
of the auxiliary signal at Chalk Farm bridge last night. This 
signal is turned by a man down at the tunnel by means of a wire 
and a spring ; and the man had occasion to turn it at the moment 
poor Rice was lighting it, and so knocked him off his perch, 
which broke his thigh and ankle-bone very badly. 

Think of Lord John resigning ! He'd better go home ; he's 
too hoity-toity by half; but let us hear his explanation. Truly 



108 

the nation is in a mess. Will you take the government and let 
me go to the Crimea and put the thing to rights ? Well, it will 
come right. Clench your teeth, O people, and endure. Through 
the mud, and out of the blood, and from the heaps of her brave 
sons, dead, but deathless, England will rise to her place in the 
world. Scourged she may be, but Heaven will not cast her off. 
Purified and humbled she may be, but the better able to resume 
her path towards her high destiny will she come forth, shaking 
from her garments the dust of many of her errors. Crime and 
folly, pride and hypocrisy, may appear in the indictment of the 
Recording Angel, but from amidst the mire of sin in which she has 
struggled and plunged, her right arm has held forth Freedom, 
Truth and Light, the Gospel to the heathen, a home to the 
outcast, protection to the weak, and words of comfort and hope 
to the oppressed: and the God of mercy may hide his face from 
her for awhile, but he will not utterly desert her in her time 
of need. 

-i^ist January, 1855. — Snow — in your face and round your hat 
and on your bosom, and insinuating itself into your boots ; on 
the rails ; in the points annoyingly ; in holes deceitfully seducing 
you up to your knees; in balls in the horses' feet, — and they 
slither and slide and look beseechingly; up against doorways, 
and down chimneys, in heaps unexpectedly ; and more and more 
coming unrelentingly. That is the state of things to-night. 

27M AfriL 1 855 . — Called out in haste. The 4 p.m. passenger 
train had run into the temporary siding in the new works and 
upset the carriages and piled them, one over the other, according 
to the usual completeness with which the ponderous machines 
are wont to kick up their heels when they do get a chance. 
Miraculous though it may seem, nobody was hurt. The pas- 
sengers were fished out of the doors of the carriages. In an 
hour's time they were all sent away on their journey. A few 
hours more sufficed to clear the line, and the place looked ready 
to take its solemn oath that no accident had occurred at all. 

I have had a peep at the Emperor of the French and his 
pretty wife. She is a blue-eyed quiet-looking lady. His expres- 
sion is glum and lachrymose. The carriage stopped in front of 
me. Prince Albert's open handsome face was better worth 



I 



109 

seeing than all the rest. Two of my brothers-in-law had tickets 
for the interior of the Crystal Palace, and they describe the scene 
as thrilling- in the extreme. I went into the building- after the 
departure of the Royal personages. The company, the building, 
and the glorious objects of interest create awe rather than delight 
in me. The busts of the great men of all ages, the temples and 
other structures in exact imitation of those used by the ancients 
thousands of years ago, the representations of forgotten art, &c., 
drag from the dust of ages, in unexpected vividness, the Past, 
stripping it of its misty imaginative veil and exposing it in almost 
abrupt reality to the mind; while the glory of the Present, in 
the living plants and the thronging people, the sparkling water, 
the hum of voices, and the heart-thrilling music— not forgetting 
the refreshment department, together with the shining walls of 
the fairy-like building, with the bright sun pouring its delighted 
rays through the sparkling crystal, on objects of grace and 
beauty everywhere. All this floods my heart and makes me fear 
for the aspiring pride of man, when he contemplates as much of 
the present, accumulated and combined with the past, lest he 
forget the fate of Babylon. All the while the Future mingles 
with my reflections, and the fear of what is to be at length sub- 
sides into a warm thankfulness and an earnest trust in Him whose 
glory and majesty are shown forth in all these things. Thus I 
lean as a little child on the wonderful Creator and am content. 
All this flits through my mind while I smile at a joke from my 
brothers or beat time to some recognised air. 

Afth May, 1855. — Last night the fireman of our night shunting 
engine was found in one of the signalman's huts in a state of 
intoxication, with his head under the grate ; and shortly after- 
wards the signalman himself was discovered, on his back, on the 
line, nearly as bad ; and further down the line a hamper which 
had been stolen from a down goods train, and evidently mistaken 
for a hamper of wine, was also found. The contents were, 
however, drugs. One bottle contained essential oil of almonds. 
What the bottle contained which these men drank from is yet a 
mystery. I should think it was spirits of wine, by the quick effect 
upon them. 

A few hours previous to this one of our oldest porters was 
caught between the waggons and horribly crushed. 



110 

These incidents occupied the night foreman a long- time, 
and when he went back to the office he found that the day fore- 
man had left a pet monkey in the place, and the little brute had 
got at some brandy and was completely drunk. When I saw 
the animal in the morning he was looking very lugubrious and 
like a certain superior animal under similar circumstances. His 
master informed me that he ate two packets of blacking and a 
box of pills a few days ago. 

y/h May, 1855. — At the opera. All the men with stiff necks, 
drawling gentlemanly voices, white kids, and an air which 
seemed to express their satiated familiarity with the whole thing. 
The ladies all handsome — for fine feathers do make fine birds — 
brilliants, bare necks, and teeth like a sunbeam. 

lOth May, 1 8 55. — Sir, I am elected a Vestryman of the great 
parish of St. Pankridge. Sir, I am now a member of the local 
legislative body, and I do trust that it will not be necessary for 
me to point to this stunning fact at any future period of our inter- 
course, when you might thoughtlessly be inclined to presume 
upon the urbanity with which I have treated you up to this 
''ripping" point of my career. I can now sympathise with the 
Emperor under the circumstances of his sudden elevation 
from poverty to power, although my progress into distinction 
has been somewhat more gradual than his. Sir, you will not 
feel hurt at these remarks. They are the stern voice of duty 
coming from a heart overflowing with love to my species, be they 
ever so humble. You, sir, are humble ; I was humble ; but 
you will reflect that the cares of government are now heavy on 
my shoulder. Think of me as the gentle youth with whom you 
roarhed the Yorkshire heather and the Hampstead hills, and 
forget the grave brow of the local senator. Remember the 
wanderings of yore, the drives and the dinners, the confidings, 
the conversations, the cabs, the warmth of the grip which no 
storm hath relaxed; but, confound it, Sir! no liberties with a 
Vestryman. 

\^th May, 1855. — I attended the Vestry Hall on Wednesday 
last and took my seat. It is good fun. I shall enjoy the debates. 
There is something to be learnt in all new branches of business ; 
but this will combine amusement with knowledge. An old 



Ill 

"bloke'" — a barrister and churchwarden — took the chair. He 
makes a good speech. There is a Dissenting- minister, who is 
an active member, and there are two or three more barristers, a 
portly tailor who wears a moustache, one or two publicans, and 
a lot of rummy-looking silent members, who aftbrd me some 
occupation to think what the dickens they are. There are 
swellish vestrymen, shabby vestrymen (decidedly so — awkward 
boots and home-made trousers, and all that kind of thing), 
vestrymen with unexceptionable white shirts and collars, and 
vestrymen who do not show either shirt or collar, it being 
Wednesday, the day before clean-shirt day ; which is a pity. As 
I am known to represent the interests of the London and North- 
Western Railway I am treated with some consideration. 

28/ h May, 1855. — One of the lads attached to my office, a 
promising youth of sixteen, the pet of his mother, went out 
yesterday in a boat at Richmond, and was drowned. Poor lad ! 
all my office is in great gloom to-day. He was much liked. 
How grief-stricken his bereaved parents must be. 

y/k June, 1855. — Do you remember my telling you of a man 
named Baker who realised a fortune at share-speculating and 
kept his brougham and had a beautiful wife ? Well, he came 
down — lost, lost, lost — and finally purloined a Turkish bond, was 
arrested, but escaped to America. Hearing that his wife was 
in the hospital very ill, he returned and obtained a situation, 
was met and taken into custody, and was sentenced to a term of 
imprisonment in Newgate, where he now lies ; while his beau- 
tiful wife lies stark and dead in the Middlesex Hospital. 

\st July, 1855. — What think you of Lord Robert Grosvenor's 
Bill ? I approve of it. The putting a stop to the Sunday 
morning trading is much required. It will oblige masters to pay 
their men in time for them to get their Sunday provisions Over- 
night, and it will oblige men to go home and give their wives 
some money, instead of going direct from work to the public- 
house, whence they do not turn out until they have arrived at 
drunkenness and midnight. We much want a series of measures 
to keep back the mob from encroaching on the Sunday. The 
line must be kept better or it will be entirely broken, like the 
course after a race, and the thimble-riggers, the dancers, the 



112 

sing-ers will commence their business, and the whole uproar of 
Vanity Fair will arise on the green sward lately so serene and 
clear. The observance of Sunday as a religious day may 
probably not be directly ordered in the New Testament Scriptures, 
but even as a human institution it is most valuable. Who in this 
busy world, with any religion at all, does not feel the necessity of 
one day in seven to recruit his weary mind, to collect his hurried 
and scattered thoughts, and to kneel calmly in prayer for his 
neighbours, his country, the whole world, and himself? Who 
that has felt any pleasure in this exercise is not convinced, by any 
occasional deprivation of it, that without the day of holy rest he 
would dwindle into a mere machine, with blunted sympathies and 
bewildered thoughts, hopeless and without consolation ? Let us 
stand by the Sunday. 

Z^ St July ^ 1855. — To-day I had business at the Marylebone 
Police Court. While I waited I surveyed the poor wretches who 
were about to be taken before the magistrate. Here is a 
labouring man with a damaged nose and swollen lips. Drink and 
fighting appeared to be his weaknesses. A poor careworn woman 
brings him a bottle of ginger-beer to cool his feverish throat. 
She is doubtless his wife and is seeing him through it. There sit 
two boys, about sixteen years of age ; one short and stumpy, with 
pent brows, sore eyes, and an underhung jaw ; the other, thin and 
delicate-looking, with regular features, but a crooked smile, and 
bad teeth. Poor lads ! — in the grand summing-up of this world's 
complicated Case, how much of your vice and frailty will fall 
away from you to swell the indictment of those who have neglected 
you — be they parents, or parishioners, or the nation at large ! 
Yonder is a drunken woman, about forty or more, with remains 
of beauty in her red face. She is scarcely sober, and takes it into 
her head to administer a box on the ear to a rather bumptious 
policeman. A commotion ensues. Then there is a cavil between 
a half-tipsy Irishman, all rags and dirt, and the before-mentioned 
policeman, whom I feel inclined to report for his taunts and gibes 
to the prisoners. Sitting near are two of the lowest description 
of prostitutes, one of them slim and pretty, and the other a plain 
stumpy little termagant, both wearing a defiant expression in 
their young eyes. Now comes in an old lady, with a terrible 



113 

black eye. She is accompanied by her daughter, a young- lady 
wnth a veil and her hair done up. Some wretch, I suppose, has 
given the mamma a pop in the eye and she attends to prosecute. 
But enough! 

\Uh Auguit, 1855. — Talk of Busmen. Can't anything be 
done for them ? They commence work at about 8 a.m., and leave 
off at midnight. On Sundays from 10 a.m., to past midnight. 
"Do you ever see a Bible.?" said a parson to one of them the 
other day. "Why, yes, I sees em," said the man, "cos there's my 
six children has one a-piece ; but that's as fur as I gets. Why, 
love yer art, sir, wen I goes straight home — cos there's many as 
don't — well, by the time I sits down it's half arter twelve, and 
wen I tries it on to look at the paper I'm asleep afore you can 
say ' knife.' So I gives the paper to my misses and I ses to her, 
ses I, ' you take that — I'll smoke.' Readin's done wi' me, and I've 
done wi' readin. Why, sir, sixty mile a day in the open air does 
it. You can't stand a close room arterwards — you're safe to fall 
asleep. Not but what Ive gone to church twice a-day, five years 
at a stretch, right off, when I was a gennelman's servant. But I 
can't bear to think about it. Look out, Bill ! " Stout gentleman 
at this juncture rushes out of a brewery and blows up the busman 
for stopping up the road, so that the drays are detained. " For 
my part," says the gentleman, " I wish you and the cabs were 
under heavy fines." " Oh, you do, do yer ?" replies the bus-driver. 
*' Well, them brewers ain't the cream-o-the-valley, /can see." 
And so the remainder of the ride is not sociable. 

22nd August, 1855. — 

Accursed, subtle, tempting evil 1 
Thou fluid extract of the devil ! 
Avaunt — begone — and ne'er again 
Beguile my lips to steal my brain 
The flower of life, forced by thy heat, 
Blooms bright and ruddy, high and sweet, 
Our hands the friendly grasp return, 
The fires of passion fiercely burn, 
Valour and wit escape control, 
And pleasure dances round the bowl. 
But Oh ! the morning sees the bloom 
All spent, — all wasted the perfume. 
The trembling hands relax their hold. 
The fire of love is dead and cold, 
Dismay sits grim on valour's stool, 
And wit stares now a vacant fool, 
And Hell yawns round the broken bowl. 



114 

20th November, 1856. — The London and North Western 
Railway Company have appointed me Goods Manag-er of the 
Southern District. 

29M November, 1856. — A letter from Thomas Carlyle, the 
author, about his packages. He writes a fist as queer as his 
style. 

nth December, 1856. — Dined out twice lately, everything" 
tempting" and glittering ; but a comfortable dinner at home beats 
it all. 

22nd December, 1 856. — Do you believe this ? It is said that the 
new electric telegraph was tried on a new line in Wales the other 
day, but immediately the clerk attempted to spell on the instrument 
one of the many-consonanted Welsh names, one of the wires 
curled up and the other broke off short ! 

\6th June, 1858. — The sun is setting gloriously over old 
Camden, as he will set, Robin Adair, when some one else fills this 
chair of mine, and when you have ceased to bewail your erring 
flock and some other chap is going through the same performance. 
Meanwhile, we will hope that no greater trouble than has hitherto 
befallen us may come between us and the end, and that a 
peaceful ray of the wondrous luminary may fall on the green 
turf of our graves and gild the tear of pleasant memory, shed 
by the friend whose love recalls us, while our pardoned spirits 
rest in Heaven, through the same goodness and mercy which 
have followed us all the days of our lives. 

9M August, 1858.— As regards Canada, if that dream be 
realised, then, Robin Adair, 

You shall come over there 

And preach on the stair, 

Or the barrel of beer. 

To my wife and her dear, 

In our dwelling so fair, 
Where Loo and her little-ones ever shall be 
In clover and ease till they lie down and dee; 
And folks in the future shall tell— and no lee — 

That once in those parts lived a Bob and Davie, / 

Two out-and-out fellows as ever could be. 
And that many a year they lived jollily 
In England, the land away over the sea, 
The home of the Briton, the soil of the free ; 
And that when they came out into West Canadee 
They brought sons and daughters — how many ? Let's see 
Never mind ! but they finally left ninety-three. 

i^th August, 1858.— Milverton— Somersetshire. 



115 

I have just been standing in the moonlig-ht in front of your old 
domicile at Milverton. It is a beautiful old place certainly, only not 
quite so large as I expected to see it. The church looks romantic in 
the moonbeams. The sweet-toned bell struck nine as I strolled 
round the venerable fabric, full of dreams of the past. I had a little 
difficulty in finding poor Mary Ann's grave. It is situated in a 
peaceful spot. Now I have returned to mine inn to write to you 
and Eliza. What a glorious country it is all about here ! I 
wish you were with me to answer the thousand questions 
which arise in my mind. No one seems to know anything. The 
landlord don't remember anything, and he hasn't been long 
here. The waiter tells me long yarns about everything hut 
Milverton ; and the folk seem to think I am not much good, 
prowling about in the dark. Never mind, I have seen the 
place and am satisfied ; but I hope the sheets at the hotel won't 
be damp. Such brandy ! — none of your foreign stuff — real 
British, and no mistake. Bah ' I repeat, I hope the sheets won't 
be damp. 

l']th September, 1858. — I have been to the Isle of Man; 
wasn't sick going or coming. Like the place; pretty country, 
like Wicklow. Town stinks of drains when the tide is out, and 
of fish when it's in. People talk a sort of Irish brogue. Went 
to church, where they collected the money for the poor in an 
apparatus resembling a warming pan. To the play, where I 
saw 'Macbeth' with a vengeance. Didn't sleep much o'nights, 
owing to a church clock just outside my bedroom window striking 
the hours cruelly loud. 

yd October, 1858. — Sunday. — It is now about half-past seven, 
and you, I presume, are sowing broadcast in the field of your 
Master. May your arm be strong, and the' grain full of 
fructifying vigour, sinking deep into the heart, to bring forth 
abundantly. Tell your flock how responsible they are; shew 
them the wonderful miracle of a life — its grand mechanism — its 
wonderful sustenance — the beauty of its youth — the mighty 
productions of its manhood — its certain decay, and then the 
mocking infirmities of age — all speaking with eloquent force, to 
the thinking mind, that such a glorious creation as man could not 
have been made to run a purposeless course. Bid them work 



IIG 

while it is yet day, each one assisting-, in his sphere, the step ot 
goodness for which each generation is collectively answerable. 
Call on them to fight the evil which all must feel to exist in their 
hearts ; to cultivate the heavenly inclination to goodness, even if 
it be but a spark, the minute remnant of their divine origin. 
Entreat them to fan that spark into a flame until it illumines the 
whole character. Picture to them the hatefulness of sin, and 
make them to feel the consoling truth that when the wicked man 
turneth away from his wickedness and doeth that which is lawful 
and right he shall save his soul alive. The tender mercy of an 
earthly parent who loves his darlings may feebly convey to them 
the idea of the ready forgiveness of Him of whom you are 
commissioned to speak. Pardon for the past, grace and strength 
for the future, you can offer in His name ; and it will go hard, 
my anxious pastor, if you do not here and there reclaim some 
wandering soul. 

2gthyuly, 1859. — The Trosachs. — Here you are, or, at least, 
here I am ! I have come by Callander from Stirling, and 
coached it from Callander. I have just now taken a long walk 
up Glenfinlas — so grand and solemn — swelling bully-looking 
mountains, that seem to defy and mock the notion of anyone 
climbing up their sides — rushing, roaring, dashing waters — and 
such oppressive loneliness. Altogether I felt an indefinite fear 
as the twilight drew in, especially when I came to a spot where 
the rocks echoed the hollow sound of the waterfall a hundred times. 

The daylight remains here much later than in the south, as 
you probably know, and the outline of the mountains against 
the twilight is very beautiful. 

I start for Loch Katrine to-morrow morning. I shall go up 
it and on to Inversnaid, and down Loch Lomond to Balloch and 
Glasgow. 

I enjoyed the sight of picturesque Edinburgh ; likewise I 
smelled the smells of the old town, down about the Cowgate. 
I did Arthur's Seat and all the sights, Portobello and bathing 
into the bargain. 

At tea here this evening I fell in with a chatty pleasant lady 
from Gateshead. Now, hold hard ! her husband is with her. 
He seems a decent old chap, but he has a hair lip and articulates 



117 

with difficulty ; moreover, he is troubled with eructations, saving* 
your presence, and looks the next minute as though he had 
discharged an agreeable duty to his fellow creatures. They have 
just gone to bed. They are going my way to-morrow. The 
old chap smokes a cigar, so we vshall probably -fraternise, for, 
truth to tell, I am not enamoured of my own company on a trip 
of this kind. I'd give a brass '' farden " if my little woman and 
you were with me. 

At the present juncture I am writing, and smoking a cigar, 
and I've a tumbler of toddy before me, and there's a gent 
opposite '^asisdoin' of the same," barring the writing. On my 
left is a long-nosed dogmatical Britisher, who has just shut up a 
long-winded lot of bosh about Louis Napoleon, and further on 
there is a young "feller" who has been walking his feet off up the 
"mountings" and looks done up. We are rather a different lot of 
''gents" from those who were in the habit of prowling about here 
a hundred years ago, and if it were as cold here then as now, 
I should think that the absence of breeches must have been felt 
severely. 

I find that there's no post from these parts until to-morrow 
night, and then' the time is uncertain, so I shall carry this in my 
pocket until I reach civilisation. I may add something more 
to-morrow, but it will probably be in Gaelic, as you know how 
readily I forget my native tongue. 

iph December, i86l. — I believe you are right as to the £150 
days. I don't see much more money, and I don't think I am 
happier. The latter commodity is, I suppose, nearly equally 
distributed, or, at any rate, much more so than we think 
generally. I have, no doubt, as much pleasure, if one could get 
through, and push aside the pride, affectation and bosh, and 
arrive at the real state of one's condition — which is difficult to 
do — I dare say I think myself a very important man of business — 
that I am working out my little bit of duty in the world ; and 
that your portraiture of me, although jocularly put, is in reality 
true, and I am a most excellent fellow, notwithstanding certain 
remembrances of errors and shortcomings which will come up. 
I find myself uncommonly willing to take a favourable view of 
myself at all times. 



118 

The religious meeting- was a breakfast in the shops at 
Euston a Sunday or two ago, at which nearly 400 men of ours 
assembled. They were addressed by Canon Champneys, Judge 
Payne, and others, and the speeches were eloquent exhortations 
to the men to consider their religious responsibility as men, 
parents, and christians. If no lasting good has arisen, the effort 
was an earnest one to promote Christianity, and was sensibly and 
temperately carried out. I don't admire the greasy whining 
' parties ' who grow out of a certain method of teaching 
religion. No ; goodness in act and deed, evidencing love in the 
heart, and a true imitation of the Great Example, the kind and 
pure Christ, I like to- recognize and cheer on ; and I find such 
men amongst all denominations and in many unexpected 
places. 

I am going to Folkestone on Tuesday. Why not come up 
and go with me ? We would gaze together into the impatient 
billows, which lick, like faithful mastiffs, the smiling cliffs of dear 
old Albion. We would pour the libation to old ocean. We 
would wander on the pebbly strand and forget awhile the world 
and our work. These balmy days, so unlike December's 
usual rigour, ought to beguile us into thoughts of spring-time, 
while our voices, gently harmonising with the far down murmur 
of the waves, should pleasantly break the sea-side solitude. 
Old memories would then arise of days gone grey in our poor 
recollections, and scenes from the Magic Lantern of the past 
would be lighted up to touch the chords of our old hardened 
hearts. 

T^Oth January, 1 863. — Many thanks for all your good wishes. 
I think 1863 looks hopeful. I begin it more cheerfully, in many 
respects, than I did 1862. That period will be long remembered: 
it has been a ' fizzer. ' Yet who can reflect on even the darkest 
pages of his existence without being able to thank the great 
Disposer of events for many mercies? Pardon me for trespassing 
on your line of business for the moment. 

Is Harris still with you .? 

Then let the Harris busy be 

In Wybunbury's bowers, 
And roar, and laugh, and preach, and spree, 

And waste the vicar's hours. 



119 

But, Parson, on the other side 

Of his great mouth, I ween, 
He smiles when o'er the wincing boys 

He lifts his awful cane. 
No laugh for them from him the " brute, " 

No spree, no jolly air. 
' Hi ! you young sir, that thing won't suit ! ' 

He says, as from his chair 
He starts — rage in his eye — and all 

The boys around he beats ! 
Ah me I indeed it doth appal 

To know mankind are cheats. 

September, 1863. — ^Jersey. A soft wind ripples the paper on 
which I write; the sun-glare is occasionally relieved by a cloud; 
the sea breaks on the strand beneath me in subdued waves, and 
in a majesty of expanse stretches far away to the verg"e of the 
horizon. Of late it tore and foamed and dashed, in mighty waves, 
rushing to the shore with greedy breakers, ravenous to swallow 
up the land ; again and again thrust back, to return again with 
renewed strength. Now its calm bosom gently heaves. The 
giant sleeps. 

We are greatly enjoying ourselves here and gathering 
strength for the next year's campaign. But even here there is 
excitement ; for just now I had to descend from my perch on a 
rock to bully a man who was going too near my hen and chickens, 
who were bathing in a neighbouring nook in the rocks. I resume 
my meditations and return along the sands, very much like the sea I 
have mentioned — calmer after a ' boil over '. 

These parts are very beautiful : such pretty bays and wild 
rocks and old castles. I roam about in drab boots and an old 
grey coat, and feel quite easy. 

i^th Septeniher, 1863. — On South Western Railway. — I have 
just passed Winchester, flying at the rate of twenty miles an hour 
towards Southampton. The sun shines over the green land- 
scape, and I am enjoying the ride. On my left sits a plain young 
lady in black, and on my right a civil gentleman, who lent me his 
' Times. ' Whither are we three going ? Shall we ever sit side by 
side for three hours again .? What is she .? What is he ? They 
may be a prince and princess, or the proprietors of a tripe shop. 
What a trio, presently to throw and dissolve itself in different 
directions ! What a shell thrown into Southampton, to break up 
into scattered particles to do mischief I 



120 

7-30 p.m. — Nov/ I am in the carriag-e with my brood g'oing* t 
London, having- met them at the Jersey boat, given them some 
g-rub, looked after the lugg-ag-e, and lodged them safely here. 
They all look brown and healthy, although the children have 
been very sick on the voyage. Away we go, homeward ; another 
happy holiday spent; another bright summer's pleasure off our 
lives. Sic transit, 6-<r. 

10.30 p.m. — Home. Greetings with Ellen. Hot supper. 
Running about the house. Enquiries after the dog and the goat 
and the cat and the rabbit. Item, heavy cab fare. 

27M September, 1 863. — Great Berkhampstead. I am seated 
on the gnarled root of a tree. In front of me are hundreds of 
rose-trees, each with its particular last rose ot summer; and 
beyond lies, outstretched, Ashridge Park and the usual green and 
rich country of old England. I have breakfasted, but the 
household is not yet down, and I have come out for a sniff of the 
pure air. 

Poor F, who was Station-master at , is here. The 

disease in his bones does not abate much. He may linger for a 
year or two, but it is thought that recovery is out of the question. 
His sufferings are great. How ashamed one feels of grumbling 
and discontent when such a case as this young fellow's comes 
before one. It is comforting to believe that in the next world the 
perplexing inequalities of destiny which exist here will all be 
adjusted. 

25M October, 1863. — Sunday. — It is a great blessing, this 
Sunday rest. The care and strife, the ambitions and humiliations 
are suspended, and one has time to pause on this landing of Life's 
staircase and quiet the poor torn and weary spirit. The good 
words of the preacher haul in the slack of our practice and bring 
about reflection. The prayers tranquilise us and revive forgotten 
hopes of that sweet world to which the pardoned are journeying. 
There is time to be oneself. The gas of the world, which has 
puffed up thoughtless impulses, and carried us high away into the 
clouds of danger and temptation, is turned off for the day, and we 
walk on terra fir ma. The sins of the week descend also with our 
balloon and lie in their deformity around us. We gaze and 
deplore and resolve ; and, remembering former deplorings and 



121 

resolutions, pray for better streng-th, feeling- the value of the 
Great Sacrifice. 

\2th November, 1863. — Here I am waiting at Guildhall. The 
Queen sent to me and John Doe greeung-, commanding me to 
appear in the Court of Exchequer here with a 36-pounder cannon, 
about which there is a dispute in law — the cannon being in my 
possession officially. So here I am with my cannon. Doe has 
not yet turned up. I suppose he is a relative of Gog and Magog 
and other myths. 

It is mouldy work dawdling about. I'he Court has an 
ancient, not to say a fish-like smell ; so I don't go in there much. 
All sorts of people hang about ; many of them greasy, with bags, 
and with their trousers fringed at the heels. Everybody looks 
ugly somehow, and one has a general distrust of all who come 
near. This is unchristian, but irresistible. The judges at these 
Courts have all been changed since I first attended them. The 
old faces have passed away, and I only recognise an old barrister 
at the bar here and there. There is M., a rising young barrister 
within my remembrance. He is now a sad old guy, with white 
hair and a fearful stand-up collar. He only wants a chair and 
two bearers, to complete him, and he would take no end of 
money for fireworks. Ah me ! how the time and the people pass 
away, — and I, too, cannot be standing on a pedestal witnessing 
the onward movement. No — we are all in the current — moving 
surely, though imperceptibly. 

Jih Decef7iber, 1863. — Ted has just been relating how a man 
he heard of never bought any coals, never had any given him, and 
never stole any — yet always had plenty in his cellar. It appears 
that his garden wall was alongside a canal, and his plan was to 
place on the top of the wall a glass bottle. Playful bargees with 
freights of coal could not resist a cock-shy, and, with no 
ammunition but coal, they used that freely. The old man on the 
other side of the wall picked up and bagged the shots, replacing 
the bottle when necessary, which was not often. 

I si April, 1864. — I have had a few days of freedom from tooth- 
ache and some bothers which are my thorns in the flesh, and I have 
been happy and grateful, enjoying this (on the whole) most 
agreeable world ; laying in a little stock to remember when the 



122 

clouds come, — antidotes to murmuring, — stores of consolation 
when the porter's knot has to be put on to carry the burdens of 
this jolly old eccentric pilgrimage. 

1 1 th April, 1864. — Garibaldi is struggling through London 
to-day. People who have been to see the progress say he only 
reached Kensington about 5 o'clock, and, considering the sea of 
people in Pall Mall, at Charing Cross, etc., he will, I should think, 
be at Stafford House about next Monday, if he has luck. 

\6th September, 1 864. — I went to the Adelphi Theatre this week 
and saw Toole, a wonderful actor ; but, Robin, we don't roar, as 
we used, at fun. Alas ! that organ is getting weak in the wind — 
the Tiot summers, the heat of the day, has dried up the green 
verdure — and if we are wiser (which I question) we are sadder. 
I hope we shall be able to keep a few grins to the end, however. 

18/A October, 1864. — Mr. C. Mason is away on a tour, and I 
am '' taking the duty " for him. A lull in the business leaves me 
listening to the clock ticking on the mantel-piece — a sound which 
seems to be elected to the chair when there is a general meeting 
of silence. 

20th February, 1865. — In the York and Albany just now, at 
my luncheon, I came across a fellow slightly cranky. He talked 
of the fresh air, the bad cooking of the chop, his literary labours, 
the clubs, the insignificance of money to him, though not a rich 
man, the state of his health, the death of Cardinal Wiseman, the 
absurdity of men looking into their hats at church ; cried because 
he had lost his wife, "■ sometime ago, of course ", and then laughed 
at Punch, and at Protestant parsons; declaimed against the 
taking of *'our abbeys" by the Protestants; and wound up by 
prophesying vehemently that England would be Roman Catholic 
in less than fifty years. 

Musn't I be short of news when I write such a paragraph as 
the above? Well, one has nothing to say; the freshness is 
wearing off, I suppose, and we don't see the fun of little matters 
as we did formerly, or, at least, we fear to write about them, to 
bore our friends withal, as of old. 

What think you of the weather ? It is a neat old-fashioned 
winter, I submit; and those who have been talking of '' good old 
seasonable weather" have, I trust, got plenty of it this time. 



123 

For my part, I have had enough. I want a little piece of soft 
weather, when you can get out of bed without feeling" as though 
you had taken strychnine — when a man may walk to his small 
clothes without destroying his dignity by making hideous grimaces 
in the presence of his weaker vessel — and when shaving isn't quite 
a process of refined torture. 

19M September, 1 865. — We have had to kill poor old Floss, 
our doggie. We could not cure his fleas, and they were 
migrating all over the house; and so there was a long parting, 
and the sound of his cheery bark went away from us, as all things 
will go, I suppose, in time. Verily you might take a worse 
subject for your sermon than that poor little affectionate be- 
vermined dog. Do the beasts perish ? — ^Are you sure } If so, 
there is many a beautiful spirit which could be profitably 
transferred into the carcass of a man, in exchange for his own — 
so far as my feeble vision can see of the matter. 

\st October, 1 865. — How imperceptibly the hand goes round 
the dial ! Our seniors are gradually slipping from the front 
rank, and we shall soon have to totter to their places, to gaze 
into eternity, face to face. The hands of those who climbed the 
ladder of life before us, and which have so long been extended 
downwards to help our steps, are rapidly disappearing into the 
clouds ; and we must hold each rung ourselves, and in our turn 
cheer on those beneath us. 

—October, 1865*. 

Who came between the 'tin' and me 

By dodges which I couldn't see, 

And with the plate made much too free? 

H.B. 
Who knew that I was far too pure 
To wish with gold Life's ills to cure, 
And that I relished being poor ? 

H.B. 
Who for my sake lost self respect, 
And to be thief did not object, 
That I on gold might not be wreck'd ? 

H.B. 
Who coloured well, with reasoning smile, 
To doting ears, the artful wile 
That would my expectations ' spile ' ? 

H.B. 
For this and all, we'd strilic the lyre, ' 

H. B., my boy, and raise thee higher 
With patent rope, and end with fire, 

H.B. 

*My friend was swindled by H.B. out of some property. A little was saved, but nearly 
destroyed afterwards in an accidental iire. 



124 

8M February, 1866. — Waif-like, I am rushing to and fro on 
the earth. In No. 135 carriag-e, Great Northern Railway, I am 
firing- away to Peterborough, while you live at home at ease and, 
I dare say, at this instant are devoutly giving- your blessing to 
some excellent tax-collector, or other person, who relieves you of 
your filthy lucre. I am thinking how cleanly you and I must 
naturally be. We seem to get rid of that kind of filth by natural 
instinct, until really sometimes we are uncomfortably clean in 
that respect — cleaned out, in fact. 

28//^ March, 1866. — Splendid day here yesterday. I went 
into the country to look at a coal wharf, and lingered in the lanes 
listening to the wonders of the birds, and breathing, the sunshine. 
I had had a week of toothache and was free from it, and I felt 
all the sweet influences of the returning season with doubled 
happiness. Will there be singing birds, and winding lanes, and 
fair meadows in the place whither thou art guiding us, O my 
Preacher ? Take thou mine hand and lead me on quickly, for I 
tire of struggling men and roaring cities. I never loved the strife, 
and in the battle with sin I have ever bitten the dust. My heart 
yearns for the quiet of that tranquil world where men and women 
are as the angels, 

29/A June, 1 866. — As regards the war between Austria and 
Italy, my commonplace order of mind wanders down below the 
inflated speeches and proclamations of ambitious kings and 
politicians, who, in the pursuit of their game, are blind to all 
other considerations. I find my way, mole-like, below the 
grandeur and the glory, and the hollow appeals to romance 
and humbug, and I get to poor lads, torn away from honest 
productive occupations, and to mothers and sisters, and aunts, 
and wives and cousins, and the great heap of accumulated grief 
which these gilded and silvered and feathered kings and kaisers 
are making amongst thousands of human beings. Could the 
suffering of one battle-field — the stark dead and the parched 
wounded — the agony of all those who wait the fate of a son or 
brother or husband — could such things be numbered up and 
divided to the accounts of those who cause the war, the weight 
would take them all to the bottom of the bottomless pit, or keep 
them going down for ever. 



125 

\Qth November, i866. — Rugby. This is a pleasant place; 
house, hig-h and dry, in a field off the road ; a mile-and-a-half 
from the station ; town, half-way ; good suburbs ; town, clean ; 
good shops. Now for good, sweet, juicy apples : I think at this 
place, we are equalled by few and surpassed by none; and for 
pigs that will try the olfactory nerves with here and there one, I 
think I may venture to put in a modest claim. Good garden, 
fish-pond, &c. Our pony is a pretty fellow, eats sugar and 
apples, and is a great favourite. But oh ! you won't betray me if 
I tell you that I have a dreadful secret respecting that quadruped? 
My friend ! what are my feelings when my wife and family are 
fondling that pony, and calling my attention to his beauties — 
while I smile a ghastly deception, for I know, oh ! I know, that the 
beggar is as old as Methuselah, and that I paid for him just 
twice as much as he is worth. Sold he was — sold I was— and 
sold they were ! 

I go to town several times during the month, but I can get 
home at night very well, and even to dinner, for we have taken 
to dining late. Dinner at six, a cup of coffee at nine, and by ten 
we are lying all unconscious in a dark house on a hill-side, the 
sleeping birds, the trees, and hedges, and growing crops, and 
the shining stars, out in the night all around us, — until that 
bright " Fo-e-bus " drives up his carriage to the gates of day, 
and lets the silent Lady Morn alight ; who, clad in silver sheen, 
with solemn tread advances to relieve the watching stars, and bid 
the world arise. 

Nearly thirty years ago I went to Hampstead, and a few 
days past I came away from it. All the while I have loved it, 
lived near it, watched its changes and the falling out, one by one, 
of its old familiar faces; and now mine has dropped away from it. 
The persons I knew as acquaintances will gradually fade from 
my ken ; and many, whom I knew only by sight, from youth to 
manhood, or from manhood to old age, and whose familiar 
passings, though we never spoke, are a thing of regret now, 
will soon be forgotten and know me no more. I clung much 
of late to all the old views and scenes, and took many 
a long walk to indulge my memory. I shall see the ''pleasant 
hill" many a time yet, I hope; but I have ceased to be an hahitui 
and the link is fractured, if not quite broken. 



126 

30/>^ December, 1866. — Another year is falling- over into the 
g-ulf, and before it passes away, I write to congratulate you and 
myself on the many blessings which have befallen to you and 
me, and to yours and mine, during the course of it. Chequered 
it has been, as its predecessors were, and as, probably, its 
successors will be, if we live ; but goodness and mercy have 
been prominent throughout. For which, my dear old chap, let 
us heartily thank God. 

A and J came down to spend Christmas with us, so 

that we were all round the same table on that day of family 
gatherings. Charlie and his wife and family joined us, and we 
were jolly. It was a scene worth looking at, when Charlie per- 
formed some of his wonders. All the fresh and shining faces 
of the youngsters, and the happy laughter of the others, including 
the servants, the shepherd, and the farm groom, and a bucolic 
friend. The applause was genuine, and Charlie was king of 
the jollity. We ate and drank of good Christmas things, we 
talked soberly, but pleasantly, of old times, and old places, and 
old friends, and remembered tenderly dear old seniors departed. 
We sang a little, and romped a little, and played cards a little, 
and slept soundly after it all ; placing the day in our memories 
with a red letter. 

I hope you enjoyed the day equally. How are you all ? 
Will "Sally come up" to this place ? It isn't London; but, mind 
you, Rugby is not to be sneezed at — although our refreshment 
rooms don't come up to the wants and wishes of cold, tired, 
ill-tempered, and over-pampered travelling authors, who, in 
a Christmas book, which should be all charity and forgiveness, 
choose to wound and pain poor hard-working women, who have 
to stand all day in the draught, about which Mr. Dickens is so 
funny, and to put up with the insolence and impudence of the 
British Public, who, be it said with all deference, is too often 
rude to young persons behind a counter. Nevertheless, Rugby 
is a neat, clean town, with good shops, and gentlemanly boys, 
and civil tradesmen, and an excellent church choir, which my 
daughter is about to join : — 

" He hears his daughter's voice 
Singing in the village choir, 
And it makes his heart rejoice," 



127 

And then we have our performing- pony and the chance of a 
spill any time you ride out ; besides the excitement, occasion- 
ally, of onion fairs, and horse fairs, and circuses, and the 
celebrated Japanese Tommy, and always, of an evening-, the 
unparalleled society of this young- fellow. Oh, yes ! Sairey 
must come ; besides, I want to hear her say her catechism — 
being- her g-od-father. 

A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 

" And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, 
keeping watch over their flocks * * * ^^^ jjjg glory of the 

Lord shone round about them." 

A shepherd I — these sheep of mine 

Are on Christ's birthday found 
Within my fold — and glories shine 
In blessings all around. 

For Goodness crowning all my days, 

Which Mercy doth afford, 
Thy Name to glorify and praise 

My heart inclines, O Lord. 

Unto the Saviour lead the way 

Of this Thy flock, and mine; 
O guide us here, Lord, that we may 

Join that bright Host of Thine. 

— January y 1867. — The generations passing- away, one after 
the other, in what may seem a meaningless succession, the 
curiously teeming- earth, full of living things, the wondrous 
creations in earth and air and sea, the far-off worlds, and all 
the mighty things which have passed before our eyes on our 
puny little journey have not explained themselves to us — we 
know nothing of their object, nor why so much labour has been 
expended, the result of much of which seems to us to " waste its 
sweetness." They have, however, humbled our thoughts. They 
announce themselves as the works of the overwhelmingly great 
Creator; and in all of them His mercy and benevolence, His 
beauty and glory, shine forth. We are glad to leave the position 
of carping spectators, and to fall into the ranks as a part of the 
^reat family of so good and tender a Father. We remember 
that He has known us from the first moment of our existence 
until now — all our thoughts, and sins, and repentance, and 
motives — and that He considers that we are but flesh; and we 
cast ourselves unreservedly into His hands, and so rise up and 



128 

pursue our way. If the vast creation do not satisfy our craving" 
after the desig-ns of God, we must be content and trust Him. 
If the mysterious life and death of Jesus Christ, the need of so 
g-reat a sacrifice at all, the slow process of the belief in Him, 
and the doubts and fears which beset at times even the best of 
Christians, do not explain themselves, we must submit and 
trust Him, That Christ came, and left us an example of pure 
living, and executed His divine mission in sorrow and death, 
leaving- us tender words of consolation for all periods of life,, 
and that He fulfilled a scheme of mercy for mankind is certain. 
But as I get down the hill, and ponder on all that I have been 
permitted to see. I feel confident that the plan has far greater 
influence and efficacy than some of our brethren are willing to 
attribute to it. I dwell upon the complicated causes of sin and 
wickedness, and the nice shades of g'uilt to be shared and 
appropriated, and I think of all my poor brothers lying on 
the surface of this globe ; and then, in warm sympathy for 
that class of created beings in which it has pleased God to 
place me, I pray for all sorts and conditions of men. A 
perfect Man came upon earth and was our brother. His 
highest attribute was compassion. His words breathed mercy. 
Then not alone for thee, my poor, blinded, bigoted brother, 
nor for you alone, O man of severe countenance, died He. 
If the condition be repentance, then who shall fix the quantity 
of that precious thing ? May not one electric atom, as the 
soul escapes, be sufficient to bring- it into the boundless 
domain of that mercy which seems to be a part of everything- 
we know of God? For myself, I know the worthless thing- 
sin has made of this curiously constructed body which the 
Almightly has entrusted to my care. I feel that if He were to 
call me to account for my stewardship I should be condemned. 
But He knows that I love Him, and that at times, fitful and rare 
indeed, and followed by long- periods of partial forgetfulness, I 
have given some indications of a disposition not unmindful of His 
great goodness to me and my fellow-creatures. Feeling myself 
nothing-, therefore, but a man anxious for God's mercy, in any 
form that his mysterious and wonderful ways may please to 
bestow it upon me, I proceed to walk the rest of the road, more 



129 

circumspectly perhaps, though I know what little trust there is 
to be put in my watchfulness, but still hopeful that the same 
goodness will attend me that has followed me hitherto; and when 
the end comes I shall not regret to quit the perplexing world, 
although I shall remember lovingly the happiness and affection 
I have enjoyed therein. But something within tells me there is a 
better place whither all will come — and I am content to go as I 
came, at His will and command. 

2<^th April, 1867. — A and J have been spending a 

fortnight with us. We are walking calmly forward, we trust with 
becoming dignity and a deep sense of our position, to the 
venerable titles of grandfather and grandmother. We are well 
aware that it would be vain to offer any remonstrance to that 
unrelenting old gentleman called Time; but I feel, my dear 
young friend, that it would afford me unqualified relief if I could 
be permitted to give him one good hit. 
I ^ih April, 1869,— 

In the early train, in the rising morning, 

Passing by the meadows, through the balmy air, 

I began a letter unto you, my Turnbull, 

In the usual manner, beautiful and rare. 

But I broke my pencil, rushing by the streams, 
/ Racing past the swallows, gliding as in dreams, 

And I fell a-musing as I sped away 
From the gloomy tunnel, plunging into day. 

And you lost effusions born of morning beams. 

I read Sally's letter to Bob last night. That is a treat he 
gives me sometimes. Her quaint fun reads to me as though it 
were "■ a diary of a lady of the blank century found" somewhere. 
She is brimful of humour, like a house with Venetian blinds — 
undemonstrative without, but full of merriment and music within 
— glorious when the door opens on the dark night. 

Bob has a £10 rise in his salary, passed to-day: £36 
per annum. Awful sum ! Do you recollect when you received 
that stipend? How you looked upon a man with £100 per 
annum as an aristocrat, and with thoughts of what a person 
you would be when your income should reach that amount ; and 
how, afterwards, you found yourself rather worse off when it did; 
and, further on, how opulence receded from your grasp the richer 
you became ? If you do not, I can introduce you to a friend who 
does. 

F 



130 

Trade is bad and the American business looks queer. A 
war and a bad harvest would wind up our clock for a time. Let 
us hope for the best, and sniff the sweet air that comes across the 
newly-clad country, for we shall see only a few more such new 
suits. 

Our dog- broke his leg and was drowned for it the other day. 
Caution your dog-. 

']th May, 1869. — I have no fear for the dear old country. It 
is young yet. Its strength and progress do not depend on the 
amusement of the game called Debate. Good things go on 
growing without the gardeners ; and if you parsons keep to the 
right end of the stick and improve the minds and thoughts of the 
folks, you will do better than bothering your heads about parlia- 
mentarians. Charles the First said the people had nothing to 
do with the government of a country. Do I not echo the senti- 
ments of the martyr ? Let the swells have the seats of sound 
learning and write all the teaching in newspapers, and make the 
long speeches — especially after dinner, as in the good old times 
of Fox and Pitt — and we shall have nothing flimsy or long- 
winded, and people will learn to respect their betters, and there 
will be no disestablishment of anything. But you must in that 
case put down those inclinations to the three R's, which train the 
common mind to vigorous thought nearly as much as do Greek 
and Latin, and the mixing of mankind by those infernal machines, 
the railways, and the daily living history of the world, to be had 
for one penny, or else you will have these tiresome flimsy writers, 
and long-winded speechifiers, and bold irreverent low fellows, 
forgetting their catechism and speaking evil of dignities. 

30/A August, 1869. — I shall be due at Chester on the 2nd 
proximo at 9 o'clock, and I propose to present myself to your 
hospitality on the afternoon of the 1st. I write beforehand in 
order that the triumphal arches may be prepared and the 
muslin dresses bought for the twelve Wybunbury damsels who 
are to strew flowers in my way, from the entrance of the village. 
Louisa will, of course, fling herself passionately on my neck at 
the gate of the Vicarage. Kindly give her a hint to take care 
that I am clear of the steps before she does it ; it would spoil 
all if we both rolled into the road. You and the girls, I suppose, 




131 

will form a tableau at the doorway during- this interesting- part 
of the ceremony. I shall leave your house about quarter to 7 
a.m., on the 2nd, to catch the 7.50 train from Crewe to Chester, 
so that you will be obliged to have the fireworks immediately 
after the elegant repast in the evening-, in order that I may retire 
to rest early and get some sleep after the serenade. The 
conjuring- by the rural dean can go on while I am partaking of 
refreshment, just after my arrival ; and old Johnson's hornpipe 
can be done then also. Don't be long, dear friend, in reading 
the address, but speak the speech, I pray you, *' as it were, in a 
manner of speaking, as the saying is," you know. Let the one 
volunteer form himself into line in front of the church and 
commence file-firing from the right, by sub-divisions, on my 
approach, and then retreat, as his custom is of an afternoon. I 
presume that on the horsepicious occasion, Cliffe (the horse) will 
receive two more oats than usual, and the gallant and chivalrous 
Charles be requested to inspect the inside of a half-pint of beer. 

I ith September, 1869. — I am on my way back with a sprained 
knee, got in running last Tuesday: a hint that we ''old 'uns " 
must not come the juvenile, and attempt to run. Doctor — 
bathings — rubbing — grunts — ah-oh — ah-oh — no end of bother. 
Every position disagreeable; everybody doing everything the 
wrong way. 

When we find that we can get a few yards with a stick, and 
make it a matter of congratulation, you may conclude that, 
physically, there is a screw or a large bolt a little loose, and 
that our health *'aint that sulubrious." My doctor suggested a 
crutch. Horrid, ^'yer washup ! '* Imagine me going to the 
Committee on a crutch, for promotion, and getting made a full 
gatekeeper.' 

lyh Sepieniher, 1 869. — After twenty-four years' pleasant 
steering, here we are, — Ai, copper-bottomed, and sea- worthy. 
We went over Waterloo Bridge together in a cab, and now we 
have become two bands. Another twenty-four years, and 
we shall probably have crossed another river — alone, — but the 
fear of that journey diminishes as age reveals the universal 
goodness and majesty of God, and the safety of putting our trust 
in Him. Ages do not complete the revelation of His mysteries, 

F2 



132 

and we may be content with the hem of Christ's garment, to cure 
our poor complaints. 

i']th March, 1872. — ''And doth not a letter like this make 
amends for all the long time he's been dreaming away? " said I 
to myself, when I received yours of the 13th ultimo. Yea, verily, 
the bottling-up did no harm. The tap is as good as ever; 
it is laid on from the main, and the turncock isn't within 
sight. Send me a dozen of the best. I like pleasant things said 
to me — so keep on saying 'em, like a dear old chap. Indeed, I 
think the sayer of good things is rewarded as he works at his 
kindly office. Write you often, and try it. You will be lighter 
and better for rousing yourself to do it. 

28M May, 1872. — We were very sorry indeed to hear ot 
your being ill. The numbness, however, is not, I think, serious. 
My symptoms of the kind began early in life. I am not such a 
strongly built time-piece as you, but even you, at length, require 
winding-up and tinkering. Quiet, quotha ! Why, what can be 
more quiet than lying on your back, in that chair of yours, shut 
up in your little caboose } Change is the word. Change and 
careful dieting will bring you right. There is more in this 
business of regimen than we generally think. Perhaps more 
Christian virtue, magnanimity, nobility, and great deeds take 
their rise in what our cook calls the 'stomjack' than in the 
head or the heart. What is a man without his liver ? Go to 
Leamington, and see. Depend upon it, when we are falling 
out with our friends, here and there — when our objection to the 
expenditure in the family gives us a kind of pleasure beyond 
the actual effect on our purse — when we cast about for a victim 
to sacrifice to our anger when anything happens wrong, and 
pitch upon people who are entirely innocent of the occurrence, — 
then may we place our hand upon our abdomen as the seat 
of the evil, and appeal to two of Cockle's. 

Youth is generous, believes in goodness and purity, takes in 
the Athanasian Creed, and goes about cheerily, with bright 
hopes and lots of love for man, woman, and child, and dog — 
especially Pompey. The * stomjack ' is all right : vide suet 
dumplings, raw chestnuts, green gooseberries, and the like, 
defied. Let him approach man's zenith — do the hospitality to 



133 

his friends — pipe to them, and overdo himself in the cause; and 
you'll find him afterwards remorseful, and sad, and irritable, and 
bitter ; and you may conclude that this is another screw loose in 
the duodenum, and that the overtaxed gastric department has 
struck work, on the short hour question. 

I thought perhaps it would be agreeable to you all for Bob 
to turn up to-day. The shadow of evils that may befall the home 
circle — a glimpse of the horse-hair by which the sword is 
suspended, strengthens old ties of love which may have been 
growing a little weaker through a long season of prosperity and 
happiness, sometimes. I don't think any of you want many 
stimulants to stir up the affection that binds you together. The 
electric wires are all well laid round you ; but some startling 
evidence of calamity escaped may refresh the battery; and when 
religion and thankfulness prevail, and the hearts of all are a little 
softened as yours may all be, the eldest hope is as well amongst 
you. 

^th June, 1872. — How my friends and confreres are dis- 
appearing, and shunting into retirement, — and how the boys I 
remember are beginning to assume big places ! How distant do 
early things seem ! How many decades of old recollections rise 
up in my mind — oldest, older, old ! —and what was but recently 
new goes galloping into the venerable and shady past at a speed 
that startles me often. 

I am a farmer, noble sir, on the Grampion Hills, as it were. 
I bought a cart and harness some twelvemonth ago, and ever 
since I have been wonderingly gazing upon, or staring at my 
purchase. I want to know what on earth use it is ! A thing of 
beauty is a joy for ever; but a cart a'int. Hear ye! I am going 
to sell it — at a loss — at a loss. The rats kill the goslings, and 
the calf kicks the bucket ; the lamb gets caught in a doorway 
and does for itself; the hens addle the eggs ; the horse gets a 
spavin and is sold — at the precise time that the sow gobbles up 
nine pigs. Pigeons, also, fall out of their nests and stun their 
stupid selves ; while the young ducks eat all the asparagus. 

2nd July, 1872. — Yesterday I steered my little ship round 
'* London's proud city," and to Windsor, and heard part of the 
evening service in St. George's Chapel — renewed acquaintance 



134 

with the beautiful monument to the Princess Charlotte, and 
looked at the monument to Leopold i st, upon which the Queen 
has placed an affectionate inscription. Old Windsor looks grey 
and old. Iremember going to see it at the Eton Montem time. Old 
Cash made the dresses and bags for the boys to beg, " Salt for 
the Montem, Sir — salt," meaning money for the exhibitioner. 
The boys were often rude, and some got drunk. 

To day it is a pleasure to live. The sun shines, and a 
pleasant breeze makes a stroll agreeable. I wish I were a parson, 
with no arguments to use about trade, and rates and trains, and 
no watchfulness to exercise against competitors — nothing to do 
but to teach people to be good, and to make visits across green 
fields to cottages and mansions. 

4//1 February^ 1873. — Nuneaton. — The little farm was very 
pleasurable; it never wouldhave been profitable; but the effect of the 

long walk through the weather we have had this season on M 

decided me to change at once, and we do feel the advantage of 
being nearer the station. We are much taken with the snugness 
of our new place. 

We have been greatly shocked at the sudden death of our 
farm-man Isaac since we left. He was a good- looking, strong, 
fine young fellow. I sent him as porter to Leamington, and 
about a week ago he thanked me for the nice place ; but he 
caught a severe cold, which turned to brain-fever and closed his 
promising young life. His aunt, who keeps a small farm near our 
old house, bought my best cow, at the sale. The cow was a 
beauty, but she lately died in calving : a sad loss to the poor body. 
So the farming ceased gloomily. 

One of our managers, a young fellow of thirty-four, died 
suddenly last week, leaving a wife and seven children, and 
another on the way ; and my oldest friend on the railway, Mr. 
Lee, engineer of the Chester and Holyhead District, also died last 
week. Dark clouds these. 

You will perhaps now be little interested to know 
that the Livock's old house at Hampstead has been cleared away 
stock and block, and a row of tall houses and shops placed on 
the site. I am sentimental perhaps, but such changes set me 
*' a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge." The little neat house, the counting- 



■ 



185 

house door, and the familiar figure at the desk ; the cosy parlour 
the pretty garden behind the upper floor, the weeping tree, and 
the plot of grass, the roses in the summer-time, and all the 
figures thereabouts on happy Sunday afternoons ; all obliterated. 
And of the voices which rang young and clear in the dear old 
place, some are still, and the rest are growing thin. It is a long 
time ago to recall, and so much has happened since ; but the 
memory of those days is mellow and sweet. 

T^rd ytme, 1 874. — The bright, matured, and complete summer 
is here — all vegetation teeming with its fullness and beauty. It 
is a joy to live at such a time. The meadows, the trees, and the 
hawthorn hedges, the sunshine and the soft wind must cheer the 
saddest heart, and make the veriest grumbler admit the existence 
of some blessings in this life, or, at any rate, long to he a cow and 
wade among the buttercups, 

6th July, 1874. — After dinner I made a wreath of beautiful 
roses and carnations for my Amy's grave. She and her two 
little ones lie sleeping there; but I think of their dear spirits in 
Heaven, with others whom I love to muse about, and whom I shall 
soon join — ah, how soon ! counting by the speed of dreaming 
years which are gone, even if the Master spare me here the full 
time. 

Pleasant days these happy Sundays I I read the lessons at 
Church. Mr. Hands, the son of a late farmer in the neighbour- 
hood, has recently taken orders, and came to read prayers in the 
church of his boyhood, for the first time ; a comfort, doubtless, 
to his poor old invalid mother, our neighbour. Home to supper 
and the agreeable hour before bed ; and truly, our little service 
of Scripture and prayer, at the close of such a day as this, should 
be from grateful hearts. 

\^th July, 1874. — Last night went to see a delightful 
historical play called "Clancarty," written from an episode of 
William the Third's reign. It is a pity that the stage is not in 
all cases true to its mission of teaching elevated thought and 
noble aspiration, by good plays ; instead of degrading the age 
by sensational impurities and indecent spectacle. 

3IJ-/ July, 1874. — Letter from old Mr. , hinting for a 

small sum. Extraordinary old gentleman, that 1 Clever at making 



136 

it appear that he confers a benefit when he asks a loan. He is 

86 years old, and walks into every day from , and writes 

a firm, steady handwriting-, and lots of it. There has always 
been something- the matter with the Finance Department of his 
active brain. Always scheming ; sometimes with plenty of 
money ; frequently at law ; and sometimes in poverty ; anon 
''coming up smiling-; " and always alive and kicking-, up to 86 
years of age. Commercially irregular, if not downright dis- 
honest — yet ever religious, trusting in the providence of God 
with a coolness that has often staggered me ; especially when 
he has quietly gone into debt, with the full assurance that "God 
would provide." 

^h August, 1874. — Returned last night from a, delightful 
outing to Southampton and Netley, going by way of Leamington, 
Reading, and Basingstoke. The journey was long, but the 
weather was bright, and lit up a continued panorama of corn- 
fields, and woods, and shining rivers — the corn, in luxurious 
abundance, brimming the green-edged basins which held it, like 
liquid gold; or lying in sheaves at the feet of the triumphant 
reapers; or standing in serried rank; the proud tall stalks 
awaiting the gleaming sickle to lay them low. Surely no 
country presents a fairer face than this England at such a time. 
The stately woods, bowing their leafy plumes on the hillside, 
presenting numberless hollows and ravines, suggesting ferns and 
bluebells and fragrant smells of fallen leaves and scented firs, — 
and startled game, and cries and whistles from happy birds ; the 
river lying molten in the glowing scene, and the cattle all resigned 
and placid amidst the heat and flies ; white roads marked by 
lazy teams ; spires and hamlets, stately mansions and snug 
retreats. Happy country. 

\st September, 1 874. — The busy autumn and winter work has 
begun on this incessantly labouring Machine of a Railway Night 
and day, every minute, toil the rapid forces to enable men to run 
to and fro on the earth. Winter and the late autumn bring 
endless work to District Managers and all concerned. '' Sharpen 
your cutlass !" as Admiral Napier said when he went to fight the 
Russians. I must sharpen myself for new duties, although I fear 
I am getting an old blade and shall not stand the grinding of 
many more years. 



137 

lOth September, 1874. — Returned home yesterday after a few- 
days' agreeable holiday by the sea, and on the hills, at Borth. 
Brought my wife a brooch made from the precious stones found on 
the beach at Aberystwith. Curious that the sea not only 
invigorates our jaded bodies by the effect of its mysterious iodine, 
ozone, etc., but casts jewels at our feet as we tread the shingles 
which fring-e its restless waves. 

\&h September, 1874. — I had a strange dream last nig-ht. Are 
these revelations in sleep, which we call dreams, the flickering 
•remains of the early communications with God ? 

22nd September, 1 874. — Another day of beautiful weather and 

good health. Yesterday most of the home party drove to , 

Lord 's noble seat. It seems to be too full of fine paintings 

and cabinets, and old china, and to have spare rooms, crammed 
with such valuable things, which are never shown. The family 
do not appear to occupy the place two months in the year. There 
is a screw loose in the distribution of these fine things, somewhere. 

26th September, 1874. — Had a fall over the catch of a turn- 
table yesterday at Rugby, while running to meet the Chairman. 
Barked my knee severely, and otherwise shook myself. 

2^th Septembei', 1874. — On Sunday Mr. Baxter, an eminent 
layman, preached in our Attleboro' schoolroom, before a large 
congregation. He holds the doctrine of coming to Christ, and 
immediately receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and becoming 
sons of God, so that we cannot in future fall away, but are saved 
at once and for evermore. This seems to me too bold a view, seeing 
that many who entertain it do fall from grace and are guilty of 
many wickednesses, especially of the sin of want of charity 
towards their fellow creatures. My humble belief is that we 
shall always be liable to sin in this present life, and that only in 
the world to come shall we certainly know what is our eternal 
destiny. Our part here is to strive against sin, both outward and 
inward, trusting solely in the merits and atoning work of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for 
victory now and salvation hereafter ; and hoping ever — but not 
indulging in any overweening confidence, which may degenerate 
nto vainglory and self-deception. 

%th October f 1 874. — Harvest Thanksgiving in our little church 



138 

yesterday. No flowers, no corn, or pretty devices in stars, but 
special lessons and hymns — the latter trolled forth by the strong- 
country voices in gladdening- volume, while the words were 
stirring. We had good and eloquent sermons, both morning 
and evening, and there was a large collection for the Sunday 
schools. 

17M October^ 1 874. — Autumn colours come on apace; very 
beautiful, but very melancholy. 

30M October, 1874. — Weather muggy. I notice that in such 
atmospheres the crop of disputes and differences, domestic and 
otherwise, is greater than in the fine or bracing weather, when 
we laugh at small matters. Meanwhile one should keep himself 
well in hand and treat all these things as a part of the play. It 
will soon be over; and then for the fresh air and freedom of the 
better world ! 

4/A November, 1874. — On Monday night, 2nd instant, died 
Mr. T. Shaw, of the Angel Hotel, Northampton, many years an 
agent for cartage, etc., at Northampton, and formerly a coach 
proprietor for the Midland Counties. A kind-hearted, genial, and 
honest man ; always my agreeable and hospitable friend, whom I 
shall miss very much. One by one, old faces disappear from my 
circle of friends and acquaintances — bidding me reflect. 

24/^ November, 1874. — Fifty-three years of age yesterday. 
Many thoughts about that long period: a dream, apparently 
purposeless. God knows why I was born — what object I have 
fulfilled. I know nothing : an atom among the myriads of human 
beings on this globe. More knowledge anon, my friend ! A 
short time more — and then face to face. 



189 



PART III. 



POEMS 



(I-) 



Ever thine, 

Like the sweet woodbine, 

Which doth entwine 
The pleasant hedgerows in the summer prime ; 

For to this mind of mine 
Friendship is fragrance in the lanes of Time. 



Always thine, 

At every time; 

In Sol's high prime, 
Or when do shine 

The stars which gem the sky ; 
In winter's wind and snow ; 
Amid the tints which glow 
When Autumn sighs to know 
Another year must go ; 
In summer's flower show. 
When silver rivers flow. 
And jewelled meadows grow, 
And golden sunbeams throw 

Their largess far and high. 
Thine in this pleasant spring 
With hope in everything. 
When birds their wooing sing. 
Making the greenwoods ring, 
Thine for aye, until we die ! 
Ever thine, 
While life is ours, 
And the fleeting hours 

Speed through the glass of Time ; 
Until Life's weeds and flowers, 
And its sweets and sours, 

Cease to be thine or mine. 



140 

Yours — still true to you and yours — 
While the remaining hours 
Gather the weeds and flow'rs 
Of this strange life of ours, 
And the sustaining Pow'rs 

Guide our poor footsteps to the goal, 
Where the sad race is run, 
Where all the sorrow's done, 
Where, through the Mighty One, 
For us the prize is won. 

And Time, for us, will cease to roll. 



Yours, my friend, 
Till all shall end ! 
While yet we wend 

Our footsteps o'er Life's chequered way — 

While here we stay — 

We'll shed the ray 

Of Friendship's light, to drive away 

The clouds which darken Autumn's day, 

And so keep old * dall care ' away 

Until we banish him for aye 
With purer friendship in the sky. 



Yours, while life is ours. 
Whether it spits or showers. 

Or rains large cats and dogs — 
Blows great guns, or gentle breezes, 
Among the chimney-pots and through the 'treeses' — 

In sunshine or in fogs. 



Yours always, 

While here we ' stays,' 

Though Fortune's ways 

May change with us to-morrow j 
Beneath the rays 
Of summer days, 
Or when our gaze 
Is dim'd with haze, 

Through wdntry winds or sorrow. 



141 



SPRING. 

Through the mists of dark disheartening winter 

With smiling vigour thou dost thrust thy way, O Spring ! 

Cheeriest daughter of old Father Time, all Nature hails thee, 

And in her brightest garb adorns the meadows and the trees. 

The young corn creeps through tawny earth and promises abundance 

While the rich grass invites the cattle on a thousand hills. 

With mimic snow the hawthorn decks the hedges, 

And glowing sunshine paints the flowers anew. 

Spring peeps through wiAtry clouds 

And calls the timid buds 

To come and dress the woods 

In hopeful green : 
The early flowers hail the sound, 
Creep gently through the melting ground 

And deck the scene. 

The roaring winds — like revellers 
Whom in the night the sleeper hears — 
All die away, and Nature bears 

The soft south breeze a-wooing ; 
And tenderly the zephyrs fling 
The breath of life o'er everything.; 
And melody, upon the wing, 
Ascends in praise, as birdies sing 

And Spring's green leaves are growing. 

Oh, time of Hope, so sweetly fair, , 

In human life or changeful year, 
Ere sorrow's cloud, or stormy fear, 
Or worldly cold, or bursting tear, 
Or treachery's lie, or searching care 

Youth's loveliness hath shorn ! 
Stay, fleeting Spring, nor hasten on 
To where so many Springs have flown ! 
Life's year, with me, is almost gone ; 
The heat and toil are nearly done ; 
And I would Nature's youth prolong. 
To cheer me ere I sink among 

My winter thoughts forlorn. 



142 



SUMMER. 

Nature's great book of Seasons open lies 

At Summer's bright page. 
The lark o'er all its beauties gaily flies, 

High in azure cage. 

The corn, the kine, the flow'ring meads, 

In sunshine glowing. 
The busy insects humming seek their needs 

"With joy o'erflowing. 

The upland woods soft zephyrs quiver, 

Chasing the light gleams ; 
And in the vale the glitt'ring river 

Kisses the sunbeams. 

All with varied tints and sounds adorn 

Thy Summer pages, 
Illuminated book of years unborn 

And bygone ages. 

Kindly to man Thy feast is yearly spread, 

The tale repeated. 
•' Seedtime and harvest," as the Lord hath said, 

In season meted. 

While thus I linger o'er thy lovely scenes 

With grateful pleasure. 
And drink delight in Summer's waking dreams 

W'ith strolling leisure. 

Tell me thy deeper meaning, wondrous teacher, 

While on earth I plod, 
Be thou unto my" soul a silent preacher, 

Pointing up to God. 



143 



AUTUMN. 
'Tis Autumn now ; and, far and wide, 
The bare earth, shorn of cereal beauty. 
Yields her rifled bosom to the ruthless plough. 
The flowers fade — the swallow quits the scene. 
The sighing winds sing dirges sad, to dying leaves, 
And whisper tales of winter. 
As charms in death the singing of the swan, 
The mellow beauty of the coloured woods 
Doth shed around a farewell sweetness, 
And the swollen stream 
Murmurs its sorrow for a summer dead. 
Anon the tinted Season, standing on the brink, 
Flings her last garment to the prurient winds 
And plunges into Winter. 
The stars in tearless grief gaze out 
Upon her icy coffin and her pall of snow. 
The bare ungainly trees wave gaunt and dreary, 
Moaning their angry sobs to barren landscapes ; 
While Zero sits supreme. 



HARVEST. 

Behold the harvest field, 
Adorned with golden yield ; 
See how the graceful sheaves 
Embrace in loving wreaths, 

As angels sweet 

Each other greet. 

With bliss complete, 
When Peace on Earth, and God's good- will 

To sinful Man are granted. 
Let praise ascend to Heaven 
For bread to mankind given. 
Till thankful harmony shall fill 
The Autumn air, and louder still 

The hymn of joy be chanted ! 



144 

(IMPROMPTU WRITTEN IN THE VISITORS' BOOK AT THE 
" HAND " HOTEL AT LLANGOLLEN.) 

Romantic Dee upon thy rugged strand 
Fair Hospitality extends her " Hand." 
Where with wine, ale, or beer. 
Or other good cheer, 
You've nothing to fear. 
Be it cloudy or clear. 
The hostess lib'ral and the waitress kind ; 
The harper's music fills each passing wind ; 
The whisker'd postboy drives a cosy car ; 
And all things round and near quite jolly are. 
And so 'twill be when I am gone, 
This noisy noise will still noise on, 
And other folk will cross these bridges, 
And try to climb these great high ridges, 
For e'en in poverty or riches 
Our fleeting life at all time '* sich " is. 



TO A SUNDIAL. 
Thy shadow hand points to the sunny hours. 

But makes no sign for cloudy days or night. 
Forget we thus the days when Fortune lours, 

And record only those when she is bright. 



BOYHOOD'S HOME. 
Oh, can this be the long-loved place. 

The treasured memory of years? 
Do my returning footsteps trace 

The home of childhood but Math tears ? 
Tears not of pensive joy, but those 

Which manhood sheds with heaving heart 
O'er loved ones lost in death's repose. 

And golden hopes which now depart. 
Yon village green, yon house and farm; 

The Holy spire, the purling stream ; 
The school-house, scene of dread alarm. 

Recall to mind my boyhood's dream. 
But, sad to tell, at any turn 

My gaze meets no remembered face, 
And I've come back alas ! to learn, 

On earth there's no abiding place. 



145 

HAMPSTEAD. 

Dear Hampstead, how I love thy fields, 
Thy verdant hills and prospects fair ! 

Each pleasant stroll fresh rapture yields, 
With some new scene of beauty rare. 

The humble spire amongst the trees, 
Like some sweet violet, half seen, 

When by the playful summer breeze 

The leaves are moved which formed its screen. 

That modest spire, which gently leads 
The mind "from nature up to God," 

Bears more of Heaven amidst these meads, 
Than temples where the great have trod. 

Here have I spent my happiest hours. 
And here my dearest friendships made ; 

Then doubly dear, like lovers' flow'rs. 
To me is every heath and glade. 

If Life's rude tide should bear me far, 

With cruel hand, away from thee. 
In memory's sky a leading star, 

Dear Hampstead, thou wilt ever be ! 



SONG. 

How can I marry, Davie dear. 
Although I love so truly? 

How can I leave poor sister here 
To pine and die so lonely ? 

Since her Jamie went to sea, 
And sank beneath the billow, 

Her broken heart has clung to me. 
And I have soothed her pillow. 

O Davie, Davie, urge no more ! 

I dare not listen to thee ! 
We'll meet again, when life is o'er ; 

Here love must yield to duty. 

And now the struggle's past, farewell 
Think of me sometimes kindly ; 

In twilight musing, when the spell 
Of memory shall bind thee. 



146 



A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 
(Relating to my family gathering at Christmas, 1866,) 
A shepherd I — these sheep of mine 

Are on Christ's birthday found 
Within my fold — and glories shine 

In blessings all around. 
For goodness crowning all my days 

Which mercy doth afford, 
Thy Name to glorify and praise, 

My heart inclines, O Lord ! 
Unto the Saviour lead the way 

Of this Thy flock and mine ; 
Oh, guide us here, Lord, that we may 

Join that bright host of Thine ! 



THREE ACROSTICS. 
Music is sweetest in the Saddest air ; 
And pleasure keenest when it follows care. 
Riches are holy when they grief remove ; 
The sharpest anger oft doth friendship prove. 
Hatreds are deepest when through love they move . 
And Kings are strongest when they rule by love. 
The world is full of reconcil'd extremes : 
One act distresses and the next redeems. 
When Adam fell the gracious Promise came — 
New hope to cheer the sorrow and the shame. 
So while the rainbow shines on tearful days 
Ever should mortals seek Life's cheering rays. 
Nor sink beneath Time's brief, though cruel pain : 
Dark days but veil the sun — he shines again. 



Calm be thy night of slumber, lady fair ; 

Light be thy resting, till the morning air 

And merry sunbeams bring another day, 

Restoring health and joy to cheer thy way 

And strew thy path with Hope's sweet cheering ray. 

Clear brooklets speed to reach the sedgy stream, 
Losing their sparkle in the broader tide ; 
And maidens hasten to life's deeper dream 
Regardless of the woes to which they glide. 
Avoid the danger, gentle lady fair ! 
Content gives happiness beyond compare ; 
Our present joys are best, though they be few. 
O'er fancies sigh not, nor for "pastures new." 
Keep fast those hopes, you need not fear to rue. 



147 



ENIGMA.* 

My first is dark, but changes hues 

With moon and stars and weather ; 
My second unto all is dear, 

And charms the ladies ever. 
My whole shapes fair the rudest form ; 
By day I'm cool, at night I'm warm. 
When I am travelling not, I ride 

Upon the line full often ; 
A mangled thing I oft become, 

Though not a bone is broken. 
E'en when the shades of night descend 

I'm still upon the sleepers ; 
And yet from home I'm ne'er away 

When morn opes pretty peepers. 
In hall and cottage I reside. 
When life begins I'm by your side, 
And seldom quit though death betide. 
* A Nisrht-dress. 



POEMS WITHOUT RHYME OR METRE. 

DEAF. 

So sadly still ! No sound of voice, no hum of bees, nor song of birds, nor 
sound of laden cart, nor bark of dog, nor shout of boy, nor clink of gate, nor low 
of kine. Like funeral plumes, the waving trees sway melancholy ; but the murmur 
of the wind is not to me. I stalk along oppressed, like some sad ghost; and 
Nature's face, so beautiful to see, wears mocking silence everywhere. 



NEW COLLEGE, OXFORD. 

I sat within the sacred place, behind men clad in white raiment, who sang 
praises to God, and I listened to sweet sounds entwined with holy words to stir the 
soul ; and one of those in white said prayers, in tones akin to song, which rang 
throughout the vaulted space, and lingered, as though angels bore the words away. 
Then, when from out the throats of stalwart singers burst the harmonious anthem, 
softened by the melody of youthful voices, and bade the earth be joyful in the Lord, 
my heart fell down in grateful praise to Him who made all sound and other things 
of beauty, and I went forth as from a Heaven on earth, stronger and purer for my 
worldly way. 



148 

BRIDAL THOUGHTS. 
(L. T.) 
She pauses on the threshold of her marriage days, to look once more on that 
dear place she leaves, and in the sweet recesses of her niemoiy a pensive vision of 
the happy past she sees. The firelight chat in snug vi^arm winter room. The 
loving laughter and the tender chide — the words of wisdom and instruction rare, 
from gifted lips — the pleasant ride — the meadow stroll within the fold of his fond 
arm who guides her now no more. Paternal love, less passionate than his who 
claims her now, yet oh ! how true. How hard to say, ** No more ! No more ! '' 
Her girlhood gone, a golden light of love sheds beauty on the common things of 
life which happened in that homely, happy place ; and treasured in her heart are 
all the words of her whose anxious care and never-weary hands tended her gi-owth 
from infancy till now, sorrowed with her sigh, and loved her smile, and gloried in 
her hope of wedded joy. Ah me ! the chapter's told, and nought remains but 
recollection ; but she prays that God will grant a leaven of the good she learnt 
beneath her father's roof, and sanctify her new-made home with peace. 



Voltaire says that everybody is an anvil or a hammer. 

I am content with the patient role of the anvil. Yet a word to the hammer ; 
It is the regulated stroke which produces the ''harmonious blacksmith." 
Indiscriminate force may fracture the anvil and destroy its usefulness, as well as the 
music which sweetens labor. 



FURTHER POEMS, &c. 

(11.) 

As birds unconscious cheer with melody - 
At eventide a listening mortal's ear, 

So noble deeds in man, with harmony 
Do from his grieved angel chase a tear. 



Life is like a sleeper's dream, 
A summer cloud, a rippled stream : 
But Oh ! some dreams are agony ; 
And clouds with bursting tears we see ; 
And streams there are seek eagerly 
The bosom of the boundless sea, 
The emblem of Eternity. 



The mighty may steal and the multitude plunder. 
And call the dark deed a gilt virtue, all brave ; 

But the villain who ventures to steal for his hunger 
Must surely be crush'd, the world's morals to save. 



149 



CATASTROPHE ON REGENT'S PARK WATER. 

A hurrying scene of skating men, 

And shouts of glee prevailed, and then 

A surging heave, and through the air 

Rang screams of panic and despair. 

In yawning gulf, or broken square. 

Of treacherous ice, the hundreds there 

Went down, to strive with death. 

The brave held on, with "bated breath," 

And swimmers swam, and down beneath. 

With struggles fierce, and gnashing teeth, 

Sank those whom aid could ne'er relieve ; 

While on the fatal water's bank, 

With frantic arms and faces blank, 

Ran to and fro a helpless band. 

With eager minds to help and land 

Their friends immersed ; but nought to hand 

Save trifling means and mocking aid ; 

And women wept, and some one said, 

'Twas "No use risking for the dead." 

But bravely plunged some nobler men. 

And fought the blocks, brought children in, 

And did the hero's work. Ah me ! 

We sometimes read of, sometimes see 

Such horror on the stormy sea ; 

But never may it fall to me 

Again to view such agony. 



When the heart by affliction is lowered 
The soul takes its loftiest flight. 

As steel shines the brightest when scoured. 
And stars beam the brightest at night. 



ROMANS, I2TH Chap. 

Let not conceit e'er whisper thou art wise, 
Crush out the will to spite an evil deed, 

Provide things honestly before all eyes. 

Live peaceably, and peace shall be thy meed. 

When hunger presses on a fallen foe, 

With unknown hand relieve his bitter need ; 

Should thirst oppress him, let thine aid o'erflow ; 
Thy good be greater, though thy wound still bleed. 



150 



WE TWO— DARBY AND JOAN. 

The shadows lengthen o'er the lea, 

The sunset gleams on tower and tree, 

And twilight comes to you and me 

In grateful gentle memory. 

In youth we shared Life's thoughtless mom 

Ere yet to us a care was born, 

When Hope and Joy our pathway strewed, 

And Love each day some grace renewed ; 

And time was short, and pleasure long, 

And one was fair, and both were strong. 

Still hand in hand, when noontide came, 

Life's lighter struggles found the flame 

Of loving trust burn steadily, 

To lighten sorrows cheerily. 

Then when the little children's voices 

Charmed the home with tender noises, 

Cared we, the least, whate'er befel 

Our daily lot, so they were well ? 

Contented, busy, careful time. 

Our proud and earnest mid-day prime. 

Can we forget the hour of woe. 

When deep affliction brought us low, 

Or how its fire purified 

Our spirits, as the gold is tried? 

Ah, No ! the darkness might betide, 

But soon appeared the silver side. 

And bade us cast our grief and fears 

On Him who sends or dries our tears. 

For children's children round our board, 

And "troops of friends" in kind accord, 

For peace in our declining days. 

And comfort in a thousand ways, 

Thy Name, O Lord, we bless and praise ! 

Of lives so long and richly blest 

We humbly leave to Thee the rest. 



151 



To ALFRED TENNYSON. 

Noble sympathetic spirit, 

Shout thou to future ages Virgil's fame; 
And with thy voice harmonious 

Enshrine with his for ever thy fair name. 



When vexations press, 
And you're feign to confess 
That the world is a mess. 
And those whom you love 
Are as weak as a dove, 
Or as mild as, say, cream, 
Then think of the nought of it. 
Flee from the thought of it, 
Change the regime ! 



THE WIDOW'S PRAYER. 

May angels guard my daughter's life, 
Her nights from danger and her days from strife 
In heavenward paths may she for ever go, 
And taste that peace the world cannot bestow : 
So when that He whose hand alone can save 
Shall call her mother to the silent grave, 
May He, when thus He shall remove 
A mother's care, a mother's love, 
Guard the lone orphan with His heavenly grace, 
And with His love supply a mother's place ; 
And when to earth her last farewell is given. 
May hallowed spirits join our souls in Heaven ! 



L52 



GOLDEN WEDDING. 

By the Church and up the Road, 
We come upon a white Abode ; — 
Orchard and lawn and fount and flowers, 
Fish-pond and grounds, and sylvan bowers 
Surround the home, where rest and peace 
Hold gentle court among the trees ; 
And oh ! what lasting memory 
Is stored around the red beech tree. 
Where bowls and quoits are often play'd 
Beneath the ever-welcome shade. 
A kindly-hearted couple here 
Have dwelt for many a happy year, 
And time so tenderly doth lay 
His hand on them, — that strange to say 
It is their Golden Wedding Day. 
And out of the train. 
Come pouring like rain, 
In highest of glee up the steps of the door, 
A troop of descendants, some forty or more ; 
The fathers and mothers, 
The sisters and brothers. 
The big and the little, the short and the tall. 
Yet the jolly Old Homestead has room for them all, 
And while the rooms with kisses ring, 
This is the Song they sweetly sing : — • 
We come to hail the day, 
And greet its Golden ray. 
To cheer you on your way, 

Loving kind Parents ; 
To you from whom we sprung, 
For care when we were young. 

We offer Presents, 
In helpless infancy. 
When boys and girls were we. 
Your arms were round us ; 
In youth and maidenhood. 
Your watchful care withstood. 

When evil found us. 
In many an after year, 
Advice and wisdom clear. 
From you were ever near 
• To aid and guide us ; 



153 

And still at every time, 
Your willing voices chime 
To help us live and shine, 

With you beside us. 
God bless the Golden Day, 
All of us hope and pray, 
While, from so far away, 

Greeting each other 
Pray we for happiness 
All your green age to blesH 
And with our love caress 

Father and Mother. 



THE END. 

Not in the pale sick room. 
Amidst sad sighs and sorrow. 
Wishing the day were night. 
Wishing the night were morrow. 

Not with the groan of pain, 
With nurse however tender. 
And leech profound and grave, 
May I my soul surrender. 

But when some honest work, 
By faithful truth and duty, 
Drawn to a pleasant end, 
Gives to my thoughts a beauty. 

Or when with secret sin, 
I in remorse have striven. 
And some sweet hope within 
Assures me I'm forgiven. 

Then let the bright shaft speed 
Swift to its waiting centre, 
Unlock the gates of Life 
And bid my spirit enter. 



In the year 1890, a terrible domestic calamity befel Mr. 
Stevenson, and the Directors, " in recognition of his long aftd faithful 
services'' placed him on the retired list with aii^ g.i iiftle provision 
for his declining years. — Editor, 



t witn an^»i£ie^m^\ 

jfs^ OF thb'^CI^ 

|Uiri7BESIT7J 



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